PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, May 23 ------ The Philippine Navy marked a historic docking at the West Philippine Sea (WPS) after BRP Ivatan (LC298) berthed in a nearly completed port at Pag-asa (Thitu) Island in Kalayaan Island Group. Commodore Renato P. David, commander of Naval Forces West (NFW), in a statement, said BRP Ivatan’s docking happened on May 13 as part of the troop rotation and reprovisioning mission at the different KIG detachments in WPS.
“BRP Ivatan successfully conducted its task as a platform of NFW’s mission team for rotation of troops and delivering the necessary supplies and goods for the consumption of the assigned security personnel,” said David. Skippered by Cdr. Bennie B. Demetillo, BRP Ivatan arrived in Puerto Princesa City on May 17 after weeks of traversing different KIG detachments, including Rizal Reef Detachment, Lawak, and Patag Islands.
Before BRP Ivatan’s landing, the military used rubber boats in conducting its movements. The landing port on Pag-asa Island is said to be at 90 percent completion. Pag-asa is the largest island occupied by the military troops and a small fishing community in KIG. On February 17, a standoff between BRP Conrado Yap and a Chinese warship happened at the WPS.