DND: Pag-asa island beaching ramp to finish construction within the year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 6) — The construction of the beaching ramp in Pag-asa island might have faced some delay, but Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that it would be concluded by the end of the year.

"The repair of the beaching ramp has been intermittent because of bad weather and the contractor cannot bring in the construction materials. But it is now 60 percent finished and we expect the beaching ramp to be finished by the end of this year," Lorenzana told reporters at the sidelines of the 45th anniversary of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.

The beaching ramp was initially scheduled for completion in 2018.

Lorenzana explained that the ramp would allow for the repair of the runway in the contested island that is currently occupied by Philippine forces.

The government also plans to provide better living conditions for the soldiers stationed there.

The island has been occupied by the Philippines since 1971.

However, several Chinese vessels have recently been spotted in the area early this year.

READ: Photos show China deployment of 'militia' as PH builds on Pag-asa Island – think tank

China has also previously attempted to disrupt repairs in Pag-asa island. 

Aside from China, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim Pag-asa island as a part of their territory.