The Philippines had been one of the claimants of a string of islands, atolls, and shoals among others which are located in the disputed areas of South China Sea.
Recently, China was reported to have released chemicals into the surrounding waters of the occupied Pag-asa Island, a part of the Province of Palawan, Philippines, which resulted to the mass-killing of fish, corals and other aquatic plants and animals thereat.
This fish kill threatens the livelihood of the residents in the Island. But the Chinese were determined to continue with their action because they wanted the residents to leave the island.
Wikipedia has the following information about the Municipality of Kalayaan, to wit:
- Founded on June 11, 1978 by virtue of Presidential Decree 1596.
- Republic Act 9522 of 2009, defines the archipelagic baselines of the Philippines, claimed sovereignty over Kalayaan Island Group, a concept defined in the UNCLOS – United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea.
- Kalayaan Island Group includes the following: a) Pag-asa Island is the inhabited island; b) Likas Island; c) Parola Island (Cay); d) Lawak Island; e) Kota Island; f) Patag Island (Cay); g) Panata Island (Cay); g) Balagtas Reef; h) Ayungin Reef; i) Rizal Reef.
- The town has a total land area of 110 square miles or 290 square kilometers.
- The population as of 2010 is 222.
- The town has a dilapidated airstrip, a Lying-In Clinic and an elementary school.
- It has a set of elected town officials headed by the Mayor Eugenio B. Bito-onon, Jr.
- The town is part of Philippines’ Region IV-B composed of the provinces of Mindoro, Masbate, Romblon and Palawan where the town belongs. (MIMAROPA Region).
Smart Telecommunications constructed a cell site on the island which became operational on June 12, 2005.
Pag-asa Island is just one of the eight (8) islands in the Municipality of Kalayaan Island Group. It is located in the West Philippine Sea.
Definition of Terms:
- Cay is a small, low island composed largely of coral or sand. (The Free Dictionary)
- Reef is a strip or ridge of rocks, sand or coral that rises to or near the surface to or near the body of water. (The Free Dictionary)
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