The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) identified areas where five additional joint military facilities with the United States can be built under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
In a Monday interview, AFP chief Lieutenant General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro said two sites were in Cagayan, and one each in Palawan, Zambales, and Isabela.
“Yung technical working group pinag-usapan yan, lumabas yung limang yan (The technical working group discussed this, and those fives sites came out). Tapos, these will still be subject to the approval of the Department of the National Defense and Department of Foreign Affairs,” said Bacarro.
According to Bacarro, they would start building these EDCA facilities in 2023 as other existing projects had yet to be completed.
In a press conference, DND chief Jose Faustino Jr. had confirmed the plans for the five more EDCA sites.
“It still has to go through a process, of course, we have to consider some constitution provisions, some of our national laws before we could go into that,” he said.
The first five predetermined EDCA sites were at Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan - near the disputed South China Sea, Basa Air Base in Pampanga, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu, and Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro City.
EDCA, signed in 2014, grants US troops access to designated Philippine military facilities, the right to construct facilities, and preposition equipment, aircraft, and vessels, but rules out permanent basing. — DVM, GMA Integrated News