President Rodrigo Duterte gave a green light approval, ordering to immediately improve military facilities on the disputed Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Saturday.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

Specifically, Lorenzana said the President needed the 1.3-kilometer runway on Pag-asa Island cleared. The island has been portrayed as the nation’s “unsinkable aircraft carrier” in the Spratlys.

Pag-asa island has a land area of approximately 37 hectares and it is 34 hours away from Rizal town, in Palawan province using a motorized boat.

Lorenzana said the President has an order that, on Pag-asa Island, the facilities should be improved.”

Pag-asa Island – A Kalayaan group of islands in Spratly

Lorenzana said the President additionally wanted to improve other facilities in reefs and islets controlled by the Philippines in the Spratlys.

In order to effectively assert the country’s sovereign rights over the area. The government planned to build a port in southern Palawan and will set up a military installation on Benham Rise. – JCE.