DND urges LGUs to embrace Edca’s economic benefits
MANILA, Philippines — The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) sites are being built up in provinces all over the country, and the Department of National Defense is encouraging local government units to take notice of the potential economic benefits.
DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong made the statement after Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba voiced his fear of his province becoming an Edca site.
“We respectfully enjoin our local chief executives to consider the potential foreign investments and economic development that Edca sites will bring to their communities, as well as the enhancement of the protection of our areas that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and the quicker disaster response and mitigation when our front-liners are called to action,” Andolong told reporters in a text message.
Aside from Cagayan, which is around 600 kilometers from Taiwan, military officials have also named Zambales, Isabela, and Palawan as possible sites.
READ: Military names 5 more Edca sites
For his part, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said the military would listen to stakeholders to find a common ground on the agreement.
“What is important is for us to listen to what stakeholders say so that we can find a win-win solution that will promote unity and what is good for our country,” Aguilar told reporters.
Andolong, however, said a consensus has already been reached on the specific sites.
“A consensus was reached on the Agreed Locations, however, these will be finalized and announced only when appropriate requirements are fulfilled,” he said.
The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) has been a prominent player in the response to Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea and the resulting natural disasters.
To this end, five pre-determined sites have been established for the agreement’s implementation. The sites are the Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan, 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.
The Edca was signed in 2014, and its establishment marks a significant milestone in the Philippines’ defense and disaster response capabilities.
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