Two navigational markers in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) that were previously reported to be undetected were already found.
The Philippine Coast Guard performed a maritime domain awareness (MDA) flight in Palawan on June 6, 2023 to find the two undetected buoys.
The first buoy was found at the northeastern part of Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef while the second buoy was located north of Balagtas (Irving) Reef.
PCG finds 2 undetected buoys in WPS
At a glance
The two navigational markers in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) that were previously reported to be undetected were already found by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), a ranking official has disclosed.
(Photo courtesy of PCG)
Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for WPS, said the location of the buoys that were installed near Balagtas (Irving) Reef and Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef were confirmed when the agency deployed its Cessna Caravan 2081 aircraft in Palawan on on Tuesday, June 6, to perform a maritime domain awareness (MDA) flight.
“Following the operation, it was confirmed that the two navigational buoys in Balagtas and Julian Felipe Reefs, which had been previously reported as removed, were still in their original positions,” Tarriela said in a social media post on his official Twitter account.
Accordingly, the first buoy was found at the northeastern part of Julian Felipe Reef while the second buoy was located north of Balagtas Reef.
Last week, PCG spokesperson Rear Adm. Armando Balilo had said that two out of the 10 buoys that were placed in strategic areas in the WPS went undetected.
This, after reports surfaced claiming that Chinese fishermen removed the buoys that were put by the PCG last month.
Tarriela said that the confirmation was a “reminder” of the PCG’s “unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and security of Philippine waters.”
The PCG had installed a total of 10 buoys in different areas in the WPS to assert its claims and guide mariners who pass by the area.
The first batch of five 30-foot floating markers bearing the image of the Philippine flag were put up near Pag-asa (Thitu) Island (two buoys), and one each in Lawak (Nanshan) Island, Likas (West York) Island, and Parola Island (Northeast Cay) in May 2022.
The second batch of five were placed near Patag (Flat) Island, Balagtas Reef, Kota (Loaita) Island, Panata Island (Lankiam Cay), and Julian Felipe Reef last month.
Within this year, the PCG hopes to install six more floating markers in other parts of the WPS.