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4 EDCA sites to boost disaster response in PH

QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. announces that the Filipino and American officials have already identified and agreed on the four (4) new Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites. They are already formalizing it with partners in the United States and will soon make a formal announcement.

“[T]here are four extra sites scattered around the Philippines. There are some in the North, there are some around Palawan, there are some further South. So iba-iba talaga. It’s really to defend our eastern coast. Pero mayroon ding element that is there because of our continental shelf which is on the eastern side of Luzon,” Pres. Marcos said.

DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said these sites are strategically located to enhance the defensive posture of the country and will help improve the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to ensure the country’s defense.

Moreover, these EDCA sites are seen to boost the disaster response of the country as the locations will also be used for humanitarian and relief operations during emergencies and natural disasters.

These sites would be used as storage and warehouse facilities for military logistics and will not be American military bases.

“Some of these facilities ay magiging base for our humanitarian… assistance, disaster relief operations na importante sa atin dahil tayo ay --- at least 20 typhoons tumatama sa atin at dahil nasa Ring of Fire nga tayo na mabatid naman natin na panay-panay ang lindol sa atin,” DND spokesperson Andolong said.

“So ito ‘pag nag-preposition ng kagamitan dito, assets that will be used for disaster relief, malaking bagay na iyong EDCA site kung malapit siya doon sa area,” the DND executive said. 

Further, the government had a dialogue with the local government units (LGUs) and explained to them the importance of EDCA in their province.

On a different press conference, Department of National Defense (DND) Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Senior Undersecretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said that almost all local government unit (LGU) officials signified their support for EDCA.

EDCA is one of the mechanisms designed to bolster the alliance between the US and the Philippines under the Philippine-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

On April 28, 2014, both governments of the Philippines and the United States executed an EDCA to enhance cooperative capacities and efforts in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. It is also designed to promote the following:

  • Interoperability;
  • Capacity building towards AFP modernization;
  • Strengthening AFP for external defense;
  • Maritime Security;
  • Maritime Domain Awareness; and
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR).

In addition, the Agreement will further benefit the Philippines economically through the provision of jobs and other economic opportunities in the construction activities in the agreed locations and procurement of local goods and supplies by the US military and personnel.

This 2014 agreement further allows U.S. forces to use designated areas and facilities owned and controlled by the Armed Forces of the Philippines at the invitation of the Philippine Government. The agreement contains clear provision that the U.S. will not establish a permanent military base in the Philippines and a prohibition of entry of nuclear weapons.

Previously, President Marcos says that the Mutual Defense Treaty of the Philippines with the United States is “continuously under negotiation and under evolution.”

The government has already created a group to study and review the MDT composed of officials from the National Security Council (NSC), the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). (KSAA – PIA CPSD)

About the Author

Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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