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MANILA — In line with efforts to upgrade its existing naval facilities, the Philippine Navy (PN) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for bay dredging and other reclamation projects with the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA).

Signing on behalf of the Navy was PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad while the PRA was represented by its general manager and chief executive officer, Atty. Janilo E. Rubiato.

Under the MOU signed Friday, the PRA will assist the Navy in dredging the heavily-silted ingress/egress channel from Manila Bay up to pier approaches of naval facilities in Cavite, such as Naval Base Heracleo Alano and Naval Station Pascual Ledesma, including Cañacao and Bacoor Bays.

Commander Jonathan Zata, Navy spokesperson, said dredging will significantly increase the water depth and allow the accommodation of deep-draft vessels like the Del Pilar-class patrol ships and Tarlac-class landing docks.

It is also deemed as initial step toward reviving the Naval Base Cavite as PN’s major naval facility and a major port for current deep-draft vessels and future acquisitions like the forthcoming frigates in 2020.

Likewise, the PRA shall guide and assist the PN in undertaking the reclamation and development of other parcels of lands of the public domain in Manila, Cavite and Cebu areas that are reserved for military and naval purposes by virtue of presidential proclamations.

In return, a portion of the reclaimed area will be taken by PRA to offset whatever expenses the agency incurs on the reclamation project.

“All these efforts manifest the Command’s resolve for worthwhile, advantageous, and strategic use of resources as it steadily improve its capabilities to better protect and secure the country and its people,” Zata added.