Gov’t tells Alejano: Trip to Panatag shoal OK but should be cleared
Robie de Guzman • April 16, 2019 • 1843
Everyone may visit the disputed Panatag Shoal off Zambales, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Spokesperson Captain Armand Balilo said on Monday.
Balilo made the statement after Otso Diretso Senatorial candidate and Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano wrote a formal letter to the PCG to request for permission to visit the contested shoal.
The letter, dated April 13, was addressed to PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino.
“Sir, the PCA ruling in 2016 clearly stated that the Scarborough Shoal is a traditional fishing ground of Filipino and Chinese fishermen, hence, both of our fishermen can fish there. However, our local media has reported otherwise, which, if left unchecked would greatly undermine our people’s rights to the resources found there,” Alejano’s letter read.
Balilo said there is no policy that prohibits people from visiting Panatag Shoal as long the trip is properly coordinated with the PCG station for rescue operation in case of emergency.
However, the Philippine Navy said Alejano and other opposition senatorial candidates cannot just sail to the disputed area, saying this should be cleared with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM).
The Philippine Navy said Alejano’s request should be forwarded to the AFP-NOLCOM as it has operational control of the navy ships deployed in Panatag shoal.
Nevertheless, authorities expressed doubt that the trip would be permitted if it’s going to be used for something other than fishing.
The PH Navy also stressed it can always deny request to travel to Panatag Shoal as it is not a tourist destination that anyone can visit.
The military said the AFP-NOLCOM’s priority concern is safety, and the current maritime dispute between the Philippines and China comes second. – Robie de Guzman
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Navy on Wednesday launched a web application in an effort to promote transparency and prevent corruption in its procurement process.
The app, called Procurement Information System (PrISM), was designed for efficient monitoring of the navy’s projects by integrating project status updates from procurement stakeholders.
Suppliers, contractors, and the public could visit the website and check real-time information on projects which would be supplied by the Philippine Navy’s bids and awards committee and other relevant units.
“I would like to emphasize that prism is more than just a service which connects interested service and product proponents to the Philippine Navy – it is the testament of the navy to institutionalize a corruption-free procurement system in line with the mandate of the president to rid of corruption in all levels of the government,” Philippine Navy vice commander, Major General Dante Hidalgo said.
The navy said the application was developed at the Naval Information and Communications Technology Center (NICTC), which is committed to providing a convenient procurement system while promoting transparency, competitiveness, and accountability of its procurement process.
Its launch was part of the navy’s initiatives to strengthen systems and procedures to ensure check and balance and transparency in the procurement system.
IBF World super flyweight champion and Navy reservist, Jerwin ‘Pretty Boy’ Ancajas received a hero’s welcome from the Philippine Navy after defending his title.
Ancajas was welcomed by the officers and enlisted personnel of the Naval Reserve Command during his arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Terminal 1 on (Wednesday) December 11.
He successfully defended his IBF World super flyweight title for the 8th time after defeating Chilean challenger Miguel Gonzales via TKO after a six-round demolition at Auditorio GNP Seguros, Puebla City, Mexico last December 8.
“SCPO Jerwin J Ancajas PN(Res) brought pride, honor and glory not only to the Philippine Navy but to the entire nation in general,” according to the post of the Philippine Navy.—AAC
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