BY SHIELA G. GELERA
The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the P30-million building and tower of the Bacolod Radar Station at the Bacolod Real Estate and Development Corp. port was led by Philippine Coast Guard-Southern Visayas, Bacolod City and Negros Occidental officials yesterday.
This will be the first radar station in Bacolod and Negros Occidental. The only existing radar station in the island is in Negros Oriental.
Commodore Tito Alvin Andal, PCG-Southern Visayas district commander, said the two-storey building, worth P10 million, will be separately constructed from the tower, including the radar and equipment, all worth about P20 million.
They hope to finish the construction by early next year, Andal said, adding that the budget came from the PCG national headquarters.
The project will be situated in a 500-square meter property donated by BREDCO, Andal said, adding it will ensure the safety, security, and close monitoring of all ships navigating in the area, he said.
He said the Bacolod Radar Station will improve range of monitoring up to 25 nautical miles and this will be equipped with a high resolution camera that can see and identify all sea vessels passing the area. Any emergency at sea can be picked up by the radar station as it also has a communication feature, he added.
Andal said they are eyeing to put up another radar station on the east side of Negros Occidental near the areas of San Carlos, Calatrava, and Escalante, which is a strategic location to see the major seaway and the passage of transiting ships.
The radar station is to make sure that all strategic areas, such as passageways and busy ports, can be monitored.
There are also radar stations in Mindanao and Palawan, Andal added.
Present at the groundbreaking ceremony were Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, George Zulueta, who represented Mayor Evelio Leonardia, and BREDCO director Willy Au.*