A ranking Philippine Navy (PN) official announced that plans are afoot to upgrade its Naval Base Camilo Osias which is located in Sta. Ana town in Cagayan, Cagayan Valley. “[What’s being developed there] is our capability to respond and to monitor whatever activities are happening in that area, to protect our interests in the north,” Naval Task Group 11 head Capt. Albert Mogol said.
Naval Base Camilo Osias, which is equipped with an airstrip, is presently addressing humanitarian and disaster response activities. He did not give details on the upgrade plans for security reasons.
Mogol’s statement is very timely considering that activities of foreign poachers and other intruders are increasing in Cagayan waters along with those of nearby Batanes.
Earlier, the PN announced it will set up more “littoral observation stations” in Northern Luzon to beef up its monitoring capability. This is to expand and improve the PN’s maritime situational awareness capability to detect, monitor and if necessary, drive away intruding water craft from one’s territorial waters.
Mogol said these stations are needed as the country has a large coastline amounting to 35,000 square kilometers.
He added that the PN has already established “littoral observatory station” in Basco, Batanes to help monitor the entry of foreign vessels.