More projects for EDCA sites in Phl eyed

The Philippines and the United States are eyeing to recommend the implementation of more projects under Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement sites in the country.

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. and US Indo-Pacific Command chief Adm. John Aquilino revealed the idea at the sidelines of the annual Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board meeting on Thursday.

“Gen. Brawner and I may make recommendations to our senior leaders for the consideration of additional sites but there is still work to do there before we get to that answer,” Aquilino said.

He noted that these recommendations are still subject to the approval of their respective superiors.

“We are in discussions but everyone has a boss and we both have bosses, we’ll have those conversations I think in private and give our bosses some decision space on how they’d like to go forward,” Aquilino stressed.

According to Aquilino, there are 32 projects have been earlier approved for the existing EDCA sides.

“We’ve gone from 32, we’ve added 63 others and United States has identified investment of almost a hundred and ten million dollars to those sites to build capability capacity for the AFP to use every day and for the United States to fall in on when invited,” he said.

Aquilino said the United States has identified investment of almost USD110 million to those sites “to build capability capacity for the AFP to use every day and for the United States to fall in when invited.”

Brawner clarified that the existing EDCA sites within the country are for the shared use of Philippines and US soldiers for joint military training.

“When we talk about EDCA sites, these are actually as mentioned these are existing Philippine camps or Philippine bases, we are just opening this up for shared use with our counterpart with our only ally, the United States because we believe that doing certain things together would bring more value, for instance training together, so some of these EDCA sites would be designed specifically for joint training,” he said.


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