Philippine military will soon build naval base on the country’s western coastline, opposite the disputed Spratly islands, Reuters reported Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. as saying.
"We feel this is the number one priority because of the emerging security situation. As soon as we have the money, we will pour resources there,” he said.
He said once they finished the facility at Oyster Bay on the country’s island of Palawan
, they will allow the United States
, Japan, and Vietnam to make port calls.
Philippine’s possible plan of developing the island paradise into a military base could annoy China which already controls the majority in the disputed waters.
China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is thought to be rich in oil and gas, and its speed of reclamation in the area has alarmed its neighbours - Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan - and also the United States.
Palawan, part of the main Philippine island chain, is about 160 km (100 miles) from the Spratlys, where China's rapid land reclamation around seven reefs is causing alarm among some Asian countries and drawing increasing criticism from Washington.