Palace identifies 4 additional Edca sites
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday announced four additional Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites of which are “suitable and mutually beneficial.”
The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said the following locations had been inspected and assessed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines:
- Naval Base Camilo Osias in Sta Ana, Cagayan
- Lal-lo Airport in Lal-lo, Cagayan
- Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela
- Balabac Island in Palawan
PCO Secretary Cheloy Garafil said these additional EDCA sites are expected 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.”
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. earlier said Filipino and American officials had already identified and agreed on the four new sites and would make a formal announcement soon.
He said these sites would be scattered around the Philippines, but the main goal is to defend the country’s eastern coast, noting the Philippines’ continental shelf on Luzon’s eastern side was also put into consideration.
To overcome opposition from some local government units (LGUs) not keen on hosting US forces and equipment, Marcos said he talked to the officials of those LGUs and explained the importance of the EDCA sites in their jurisdictions.
Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong earlier said the EDCA sites would not be American military bases.
These sites, he noted, would be used as storage and warehouse facilities for military logistics.
President Marcos granted in February US troops access to four more Philippine military camps on top of the five existing locations under the EDCA.
Filipino and American troops are also scheduled to hold their largest-ever military exercise this April.
The Pentagon announced that the United States and the Philippines have agreed to review the full range of their maritime cooperation in the 2 + 2 meeting in Washington also this month.