Quantcast
Latest Stories

Olongapo welcomes plan to move troops to Subic


The USS Louisville arrives at Subic Bay in this June 25, 2012, file photo. Local officials and businesses in communities surrounding the Subic Bay Freeport welcomed the Department of National Defense’s plan to relocate Philippine Air Force and Navy camps to the former US naval base, in a bid to improve the country’s defense against territorial incursions by China. AP FILE PHOTO

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines—Local officials and businesses in communities surrounding this free port welcomed the Department of National Defense’s plan to relocate Philippine Air Force and Navy camps to this former US naval base, in a bid to improve the country’s defense against territorial incursions by China.

Olongapo Mayor Rolen Paulino said the transfer “is a matter of national security.”

“If this is the plan of President Aquino, then we will support it,” he said.

Paulino said the transfer would increase the presence here of United States military personnel who are expected to take part in exercises with local troops. “And this is welcome, as it would [stimulate] the economy of Olongapo,” he said.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told The Associated Press on Sunday that Philippine Air Force (PAF) and Philippine Navy camps would be moved to this free port to cut reaction time by fighter aircraft to the contested waters and areas in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“We’re looking now for the funding (to finance the relocation of the PAF and Navy camps),” Gazmin said.

Aurelio Pineda, spokesman of the Metro Olongapo Chamber of Commerce Inc., said the group had always taken a “positive position” on the presence of American soldiers here.

“Their presence will help in developing the local government’s tourism potential,” Pineda said, referring to military personnel from other countries who will be allowed access to military facilities here.

Olongapo used to be known as a red light district and R & R (rest and recreation) destination for American soldiers when Subic was the site of the US naval base.

The city, particularly the village of Barretto, hosts a large expatriate American community, most of them former Navy servicemen who retired here and built businesses.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chair Roberto Garcia similarly expressed hope the SBMA would benefit directly from the presence of local and foreign military troops in this economic zone.

Garcia earlier said that under the current version of the Visiting Forces Agreement, US vessels docking at the free port are not charged any fee.

“[Gazmin and I] have not yet talked about the financial arrangement [should the Air Force and Navy relocate to Subic],” he said. “There are no details yet. We haven’t had a meeting about that yet.”

Zambales Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain II also welcomed the DND’s plan.

“That’s a most welcome development since aside from the economic uses of the former US naval base as a free port zone, it can be used now to strengthen our Navy and Air Force,” he said.

“The influx of military personnel and their economic activities will surely add to the demand for more labor, as well as for Zambales products in agriculture, fisheries and manufacturing,” he said.

In Pampanga, lawyer Arnel Casanova, president and chief executive officer of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, said the first phase of the transfer of Air Force City from Clark to Subic will be completed before Aquino’s term expires in 2016.

Casanova said the relocation of six PAF units to Subic will free more than 300 hectares near the Clark International Airport (CRK).

PAF units have been based in Clark since 1991, after Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption.  These units are the 600th Air Base Wing, 410th Maintenance Wing, 420th Supply Wing, 710th Special Operations Wing, the Air Force Logistics Command and the Air Force Reserve Command.

The PAF’s Clark Air Base Command (Cabcom) used to secure Clark Air Base until the early 1990s when the US Air Force pulled out following the volcanic eruption.

The BCDA, on the strength of Republic Act No. 7227, administers the land and waters of Clark and Subic, which span some 100,000 hectares. As former US bases, the two facilities operated together, sharing one petroleum, oil and lubricant pipeline.

Casanova said the feasibility of the CRK—as a twin airport to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport or as the major international gateway to the Philippines—would not be affected by the pullout of Air Force City.

“It is aligned with the development of CRK,” he said.—With a report from Robert Gonzaga and Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: camp relocation , Military , Philippine Air Force , Philippine Navy , Subic




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
Advertisement

News

  • Smooth Edsa ride up in 2 years, but…
  • Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  • Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Name names, Lacson told
  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement