10,000 youth volunteers to go to Pag-asa Island

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — With tensions rising in the South China Sea, some 10,000 Filipino youth volunteers are daring to go to Pag-asa Island, the biggest island in the contested Spratlys.

Together, they want to support efforts to assert the Philippines' claim over disputed waters.

In a press conference on Thursday (November 5), volunteers of "Kalayaan Atin Ito" said they were planning to leave mainland Palawan on November 30 and stay on the Kalayaan Island Group until December 30 this year.

They said the gesture would be a peaceful protest to show China, and the whole world, that Filipinos were united in asserting territorial rights.

Youth volunteers.png Members of "Kalayaan Atin Ito"  

To send 10,000 volunteers, the group is raising a billion pesos.

Donations can be given as cash or in kind.  

Retired Capt. Nicanor Faeldon, a member of the group, said donors could give canned goods, drinking water or provide free transportation to the volunteers.

Kalayaan Island Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon Jr. welcomed the activity.

But he is asking the group to coordinate with government agencies to ensure the volunteers' safety during the risky voyage.

The group said they had asked the Armed Forces to assist them during the trip.

International Maritime Law professor Jay Batongbacal agreed with the group that activities in the South China Sea benefit the Philippines.

Like the plan of the United States to continue patrolling the South China Sea.

Related: S. China Sea rows increase demand for U.S. presence - Ash Carter

He even said that other countries who have claims in the disputed areas must do the same.

But Batongbacal explained that if the U.S. and China would not be careful about their actions, hostilities might take place.

"If there is somebody undisciplined or has a hot head and then takes an action... Then it is misunderstood as the start of hostilities, then definitely something might happen," he said.

The professor added US activities would not stop China from continuing construction activities in the area.

In fact, after the USS Lassen patrolled near China's artificial islands, Bito-onon said construction activities had not stopped.

It seems that China cannot be prevented from conducting its reclamation and militarization activities.

China even warns that a minor incident could spark war if the U.S. or any of its allies will not stop provocative acts.