MANILA – The removal of the Philippine Navy’s (PN) Naval Base Cavite Complex (NBC) in Sangley Point in Cavite for the construction of the Sangley Point International Airport (SPIA) could have massive security and logistical implications for the PN and the country as a whole.
PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo made this remark when asked on the implications should SPIA’s construction pushes through and their presence in Sangley Point is removed.
“The removal of the Navy from Sangley will mean the following: removal of a sentinel guarding the entrance to Manila, removal of a logistics and operations hub for PN ships, displacement of PN families, uniformed personnel, PN office buildings, elementary and high school, weather station, small arms ammunition depot, fuel depot, training centers,” Bacordo said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Friday.
SPIA is a Cavite-initiated joint venture between the China Communications Construction Corporation and MacroAsia Corp and is planned to ease congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“It is okay for the Navy to co-exist with SPIA. While SPIA will contribute to the economic development and the easing of traffic in Metro Manila, the Navy’s presence in Sangley has national security implications. Economic development and national security should go hand-in-hand,” Bacordo added.
In a radio interview on Thursday, Bacordo expressed hope that the Navy will remain at Sangley Point even if the SPIA’s construction pushes through.
Based on engineering drawings, Bacordo said SPIA will occupy the whole of Sangley plus about 75 percent of Cañacao Bay once reclaimed.
“If we will base it on drawings there will be no location for the transfer of PN’s Sangley (Point) facilities,” he added.
Bacordo said the PN will discuss these things with the Cavite local government unit to come out with a win-win solution.
The NBC Complex is composed of Naval Base Heracleo Alano and Naval Station Pascual Ledesma at Sangley Point and Fort San Felipe, respectively.
It is designed to address challenges and security threats at-sea against the seat of the central government in Manila in view of its proximity to the seat of power.
NBC’s location makes it a staging point for security forces protecting Manila Bay, and as an alternative Command Center once pre-designated command-and-control facilities in Manila are damaged and unserviceable.
Currently, it serves as the PN’s main repair and maintenance facility for ships and aircraft, as a logistics hub, as a loading and off-loading point for logistics, troops, and equipment to and from various parts of the archipelago.
It is also a training site for ship and aircraft crew and hosts the biggest on-base housing for PN personnel and their families.
Sangley Point is a 143-hectare Armed Forces of the Philippines-administered property where the PN and Philippine Air Force occupy 66 hectares on the east side and 77 hectares on the west side, respectively.
The PN currently depends on its facilities at NBC in order to sustain its mission all over the archipelago.
With these characteristics and being the nearest existing major naval base within the center of the maritime domain, NBC has already been identified as one of the PN’s main naval bases. (PNA)