Military builds helipad, shelter in northernmost PHL island

Troops of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) inspected on Thursday, April 19, 2019 the ongoing construction of a one-storey fisherman’s shelter in the northernmost uninhabited island of Batanes.

NOLCOM photo

NOLCOM Commander Lieutenant General Emmanuel Salamat said that this project aims to provide shelter for local fishermen in the area and establish partnership contributing to the well-being and protection of our fisherfolks as well as the protection of our marine resources in the area.

“Turning this project into a reality is not easy particularly in dealing natural obstacles, from the coordination and the ship-to-shore unloading of materials but through the commitment and dedication of our troops together with our stakeholders, we would be able to establish this facility for our local fishermen,” he shared.

The construction of the project started last year wherein, the Armed Forces and other volunteers experienced difficult execution of tasks due to inclement weather and distance of the island to Itbayat’s main island.

But this year, NOLCOM in partnership with the local government and other partners from private sector are keen to complete and unlock the achievement of the project.

As of now, Engineering units from the Army and Navy including Marines are deployed in Mavulis Island to construct and finish the said facility.

According to the Naval Combat Engineering Brigade and 522 Philippine Army Engineering Brigade, the shelter is to be finished on May 17, 2019.

Once completed, it will feature one barracks-type common room that can accommodate 16 persons, Dining Area, Kitchen, Living room or Lounge and Comfort Room.

In an interview, Philippine Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade Jec Palomado shared that the facility is with electrical connections and in addition, One Meralco will install solar power for the facility.

“It will also have some appliances and other amenities that will depend on the provision of our stakeholders,” Palomado said.

“We also have this dual purpose area that might be used as fish dryer or helipad for much better transportation,” he added.

Furthermore, to provide a concrete guide for the fishermen, the Philippine Coast Guard installed a lighthouse in the island that has self-contained solar constructed on June 2017.

The fisherman’s shelter facility will also serve as a safe haven for our fisherfolks, especially during bad weather.

NOLCOM extends gratitude and recognizes the active participation of the local government and community of Batanes and other stakeholders for their significant contribution in maritime protection as well as extending support to the fishermen.

The Command started its maritime awareness and initiatives on Mavulis Island in 2016 when it hoisted a Philippine flag to proclaim sovereignty. They also assured to continue to do its mandate of protecting the people and securing the national territory within its area of operation. NOLCOM