Naval Station Jose Andrada, Manila – Proposed construction of Philippine Navy (PN) detachment in Fuga Island in the Municipality of Aparri, Province of Cagayan has been approved after the PN and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) here at Philippine Navy headquarters today, November 13.
CEZA Administrator and CEO Sec. Raul Lambino and Flag Officer In Command, PN, Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad signed the MOA as witnessed by other key officials from both parties. Prior to this, he was accorded with an arrival honor with gun salute.
In his speech, the Navy chief expressed his confidence that, “through the memorandum of agreement we have just signed today… the Navy and CEZA can indeed accomplish more as we mutually enhance each others capacity to perform our respective mandates.”
“The Philippine Navy is very thankful to Sec. Lambino and his team for agreeing to expand the previous memorandum of agreement, and effectively accommodating more possibilities for the navy to enhance its capability in safeguarding our northern frontier and at the same time contribute to the socio-economic development in Northern Luzon,” he added.
Accordingly, Sec. Lambino stressed the importance of PN-CEZA partnership. He believes that “the geographical configuration of our country requires an active Philippine Navy. As a Filipino and as an Ilocano together with Vice Admiral [Empedrad] we are going to make Northern Luzon an area where the Philippine Navy can be most effective in protecting our country and our people.”
The memorandum of agreement between the PN and CEZA formalizes the proposed Navy detachment which will be built in the CEZA-managed zone. The zone comprises the entire municipality of Sta. Ana and the islands of Fuga, Barit and Mabbag in the Municipality of Aparri, Province of Cagayan. This area has both access to the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea which is vital for the country’s national security.
The PN, through the Naval Forces Northern Luzon, is mandated to conduct naval and maritime operations to secure the Philippine sovereignty and integrity of national territory from foreign and domestic threat with “in the Northern waters of the country including the Philippine Rise”.
On the other hand, the CEZA is tasked for the development of a self-sustaining industrial, commercial, financial, investment and recreational center and Freeport with suitable retirement/residential areas to create employment opportunities in and around the zone.
Photo credits to: The Philippine Navy