AFP chief pledges military support to Pag-asa, Kalayaan Islands dev’t

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MANILA – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief, Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, has vowed the military’s support for the development of Pag-asa Island and the security of the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG).

Sobejana recognized the necessity to develop Pag-asa Island into a “logistics hub” to conserve the KIG’s biodiversity and the livelihood of its fishing communities in a virtual conference with Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez on July 19.

“We are glad that we are on the same page in the future of the province of Palawan, that we view it as a strategic and critical national security frontier, particularly in the interests of ecological balance and sustainable development,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Sobejana also commended Palawan’s provincial government for proposing to make the KIG a protected area under Republic Act 7586, or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992, in order to safeguard the nation’s interests.

“We are at a point when we have to stick together as one nation and we are glad that the provincial government of Palawan is already on board,” he said.

The future development of Pag-asa Island as a haven for Filipino fishermen as well as a potential tourism destination was discussed.

These initiatives would entail the expansion and building of facilities targeted at sustaining the island’s economic growth. 

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