28 Juli 2014
Mactan, Cebu (image : GoogleMaps)
CEBU CITY -- The Philippine Navy is planning to convert their naval base in Mactan, Cebu into the new home for its Philippine Fleet.
Vice Admiral Jesus Millan, the Philippine Navy's Flag Officer in Command, said Cebu is the ideal site to accommodate the Philippine Fleet because it is the hub of all the shipping companies and repair facilities and its accessibility to air and sea ports.
"Considering the strength of the area, this will be the official place and home for all our support and current floating assets and those that will be acquired in the future,” Millan said.
Millan said he has asked Commodore Ronald Joseph Mercado, the new Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) chief, to make Cebu's Naval Base Rafael Ramos as a hub for all its ground and sea assets under the Philippine Fleet.
Mercado, who hails from Banawa, Cebu City, replaced former Navforcen commander Commodore Reynaldo Yoma, who will be the new commander of the Western Mindanao Naval Forces.
Mercado was last assigned with the Offshore Combat Force of the Philippine Navy.
Mercado said he is willing to take the challenge as the new Navforcen chief.
He also vowed to continue and strengthen the humanitarian assistance and disaster response in the Visayas.
"We need to be more prepared after what we have experienced and we already learned our lesson," Mercado said.
Millan said Yoma did well particularly when he faced three major man-made and natural calamities -- a sea collision, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Cebu and Bohol, and super typhoon Yolanda in most parts of the Visayas -- during his stint.