In time for the New Year’s celebration, care packages bearing Christmas cheer were brought to the government troops stationed on the Lawak and Patag Islands in Kalayaan town, which is located in the West Philippine Sea.

They were handed to soldiers stationed on the islands on December 29, according to Western Command (WESCOM) commander Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos.

“We are glad to be able to bring the joy of Christmas and New Year to our troops who are guarding our territory in the West Philippine Sea (WPS),” Carlos said.

The Naval Forces West (NFW) dispatched the BRP Mangyan (AC 71), commanded by LCdr. Carlo Cazcarro, on December 28 to deliver the gifts and other supplies to the troops in Lawak and Patag islands, two features that the Philippines has sovereignty in WPS.

NFW commander Capt. Alan Javier said the BRP Mangyan’s deployment was done after the weather improved. Palawan was affected in the past days by strong winds and waves due to the shear line.

“As the weather has improved, we took the opportunity to deploy AC71 to these islands and somehow bring Christmas cheers to our troops there” said Javier.

Other island stations in the WPS, such as the BRP Sierra Madre (LS 57) in Ayungin Shoal, have also been given their Christmas care packages.