The Department of National Defense (DND) announced on Thursday that the construction of a P166.5 million naval detachment in Mahatao, Batanes has formally started.

Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin (left) attends the groundbreaking ceremony for the Philippines Navy’s new base in Batanes. (DND Public Affairs)
Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin (left) attends the groundbreaking ceremony for the Philippines Navy’s new base in Batanes. (DND Public Affairs)

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Batanes Rep. Henedina Abad led the groundbreaking ceremony of the Philippine Navy’s new detachment that will include a naval logistics facility, wharf, and beaching areas, small craft facility, and communications and electronics facilities when completed, the DND said in a statement.

“We envision a naval base that shall have accessible naval installations which could provide logistics, training, and other support services for the conduct of prompt and sustained fleet and marine operation,” Gazmin said in his speech.

“This place is chosen as the most strategic area as testified by historical facts during World War II. It has also naturally protected and safer harbor spaces for our naval vessels, considering that the province of Batanes has been the frequent route of storms and typhoons, especially during the rainy season,” he added.

The new base will be used for training exercises, combat, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

The Philippine Coast Guard and then Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Department of Agriculture will also use the facility.

Batanes Representative Henedina Razon-Abad proposed the project in 2014. It will be funded through the 2016 national budget.

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