Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, Flag Officer In Command of the Philippine Navy, visited Saturday, September 26, 2020, the retired Nido and Matinloc gas platforms to inspect their viability as military observation posts.
According to the report of the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) plans to convert the retired gas platforms located in the waters of northwest Palawan into a Navy Littoral Monitoring Station (LMS) to improve the capabilities of the Navy to monitor and protect the country’s maritime interests in the area.
“This inspection intends to look at the viability of these retired gas platforms to be converted to observation posts for Recto Bank and Malampaya gas platform. This will further enhance our capability to protect our maritime interests in these strategic locations,” said the Navy chief.
The Navy chief was accompanied by Joint Task Force Malampaya commander, Navy Captain Donn Anthony Miraflor, and Naval Staff for C4ISR, Capt. Marcos Imperio.
The platform’s location is deemed “stategic and vital” due to its proximity to the disputed Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea, and the Malampaya and Galoc Gas Fields – vital sources of natural gas in the country.
The Malampaya Gas Field, located 80 kilometers off the coast of northwest Palawan, is under the responsibility of the Naval Forces West.
According to the report, the Department of Energy (DOE) ceased the over 40-year operation of the Nido and Matinloc gas platforms last year.