Gov Jonvic mum on Navy’s protest on SPIA ‘eviction’

Gov Jonvic mum on Navy’s protest on SPIA ‘eviction’

Proposed Sangley Point Iternational Airport

By Junex Doronio

CAVITE CITY, Cavite — If silence is golden, then this time it could be uncertainly deadly as Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla has not yet responded to an earlier request by the Philippine Navy to ascertain their position in the envisioned P500-billion Sangley Point International Airport (SPIA).

Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, the Navy’s flag officer in command, had earlier voiced the Philippine Navy’s opposition to a plan by the Cavite provincial government to evict the PN out of Sangley Point in this city as part of the SPIA project ostensibly to ease congestion at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“It is guarding the entrance to Manila Bay and Manila Bay is the center of gravity of the national government. If Manila falls, the whole country falls,” Bacordo stressed.

He added that the Philippine Navy wants to remain in Sangley Point because “we want to guard the entrance to Manila Bay.”

It was learned that in December last year, Remulla said he would propose that the Philippine Air Force “co-use” the SPIA to ease security fears. He did not mention the Philippine Navy.

Bacordo bared that an initial online discussion between the Navy and the provincial government took place in August, but the issues have not yet been fully resolved.

“Before this COVID-19 pandemic, we were supposed to sit down, but it never happened… I’m looking forward to fruitful discussions that started in August,” the Navy chief lamented.

However, he clarified that while the PN is firmly against the plan to be evicted out of Sangley, it was not against the SPIA project itself.

“Instead of them going south of 1898 Avenue and reclaiming Cañacao Bay, why won’t they reclaim the northward site so everything south of 1898 Avenue will still be occupied by the Navy?” Bacordo suggested.

It can be noted tha the Philippine Navy’s vital facilities — the Philippine Fleet, Naval Sea Systems Command and the Naval Installation Command — are all stationed at Sangley Point. Some Navy personnel and their families also live in a community nearby.

Remulla has expressed elation over the national government’s decision to continue the SPIA project but, again, no mention of the Philippine Navy.

“This is a positive step in the right direction. Not only for Cavite but for the country… 50,000 jobs, 100 million passengers. By the time 2030, it means more jobs and tourism,” Remulla said.

A P200-million access road is also being constructed from the coastal Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) to Sangley International Airport that will be partly operational by 2022.

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