MANILA - The National Power Corporation (Napocor) will provide electricity to Pag-asa island in the West Philippine Sea as the country celebrates its 123rd Independence Day, the state enerby corporation said Friday.
The West Philippine Sea is the country's exclusive economic zone in the resource-rich and disputed South China Sea, 90 percent of which is being claimed by Beijing.
Pag-asa Island, located some 285 miles west of mainland Palawan, hosts Kalayaan town, home to a military outpost and a civilian community.
In a statement, Napocor said it will energize the island, known internationally as Thitu, through a 300 kilowatt (kW) power plant worth P33 million.
The Kalayaan Diesel Power Plant has a 13.8 kilovolt (kV) distribution line and fuel oil storage tanks "that will ensure continuous fuel supply."
Napocor President and CEO Pio Benavidez said the power plant is set to distribute power to 86 facilities there, which include homes, government structures, and military camps.
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“Following the successful series of test and commissioning of the facility this week, we have seen that it is only fitting to formally switch on the power plant as the Armed Forces of the Philippines raises the Philippine Flag on the island on Independence Day,” said Benavidez.
The island has a school, military barracks, and a runway, among other infrastructure.
Despite being occupied by the Philippines and covered by a presidential decree, Pag-asa Island is being claimed by China.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana visited Pag-asa island earlier this week, and told the military troops there to defend the country's territory.