MANILA — Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said plans are afoot to construct a naval base in Casiguran town, Aurora as part of the government’s efforts to secure the resource-rich Benham Rise.
He added that he will soon visit and inspect the site of the proposed naval base.
This is to determine what needs to be done as there is already an existing airstrip in the location.
Lorenzana added that it is very likely that only piers are needed to be set up for the ships that will be assigned there.
In March, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the military to put up something at Benham Rise to show that the undersea feature belongs to the Philippines.
This was after after Chinese survey ships were spotted off Benham Rise, reportedly looking for an area where submarines can be deployed.
Navy frigates are now patrolling Benham Rise on orders of the Armed Forces’ Northern Luzon Command.
At present, there are no active naval bases on Luzon’s eastern seaboard but there are only detachments, according to the Navy.
The only active naval base facing the east is the Camilo Osias Naval Operating Base in Barangay San Vicente, Sta. Ana, Cagayan, on mainland Luzon’s northernmost tip. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA-northboundasia.com