By Glen S, Ramos
PUERTO Princesa City, Palawan – The research facility located on Pag-Asa Island, one of the islands located in the West Philippine Sea, will soon be upgraded and improved by the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI).
According to the UP-MSI, they have conducted an expedition to the Pag-asa Island Research Station (PIRS) led by Palaweño scientist Dr. Deo Florence Onda, Dr. Cesar Villanoy, Dr. Fernando Siringan, and Dr. Hazel Arceo (UP Cebu) together with their research associates to conduct a survey on the facility.
The PIRS will be used to further the oceanographic and biodiversity surveys in the territory once it will be upgraded and the needed equipment is installed.
The UP-MSI will be managing the needed repairs and installation of new features, including an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for tracking the movement of ships in the area.
The PIRS was installed in 1997, initially built for research on Tubbataha Reefs but through agreements made with the Department of National Defense, it was moved to its current location in the municipality of Kalayaan.
The structure has not been used since.
Once restored, it will be the center of marine research in the West Philippine Sea.
Apart from the restoration project, the team will also be conducting relevant studies and researches to help in the development of the island. (ai/mtvn)