The Philippine Navy has proposed the conversion of idle gas platforms into littoral monitoring stations in a bid to improve the country’s maritime security and further protect the West Philippine Sea.
“Strategic and vital” areas considered for setting up observation posts include the two platforms in Palawan due to their proximity to the Recto Bank, Malampaya, and Galoc Gas Fields.
The Malampaya gas field is located 80 kms (kilometers) off the coast of Palawan, while the Galoc gas field is situated 60 kms northwest of the said island, falling under the area of responsibility of the Naval Forces West (NAVFORWEST).
Navy’s recommendation under Vice-Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo came amid the continuing militarization and reef reclamation of China in the West Philippine Sea.
Former Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert del Rosario previously urged President Rodrigo Duterte to seek support from other countries to pressure China to comply with the 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling in The Hague favoring the Philippines.