In a statement, the business group said it is worried about the notice of cancelation of the VFA, which may affect other security agreements.
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
Business group worried over VFA termination
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - February 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Makati Business Club (MBC) yesterday raised concern on the government’s move to terminate a military pact with the US, saying strong relations are necessary to promote both parties’ economic interests and security. 

In a statement, the business group said it is worried about the notice of cancelation of the VFA, which may affect other security agreements.

It said it is hopeful there would be discussions between the Philippines and the US on how to eliminate negative factors and preserve positive benefits of their relationship.

Over the decades, the relationship with the US has brought in investments and jobs as well as paved the way for infrastructures and aid to the country. 

The US has also been providing training and support to the Philippine military to be able to fight terrorism, insurgency and other threats as well as to respond to natural disasters.

The MBC said strong ties among democratic states are also critical in preserving peace and the rule of law in the region. 

Earlier, the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc. (AmCham) expressed concern on the move to end the VFA. 

AmCham senior advisor John Forbes said the group “hopes the two governments can work out any disagreement that may have arisen.”

On Feb.11, the Philippines issued the notice to the US to withdraw from the VFA. 

The termination of the deal will take effect after 180 days from the US’ receipt of the notice. The VFA came into force on May 27, 1999. 

US, Pinoy naval  engineers build classrooms

Meanwhile, US naval engineers  and their Filipino counterparts  have opened   two-classroom building they jointly built in Palawan.

The opening of the two classrooms  at the Malatgao National Elementary School, Barangay Malatgao Puerto Princesa City last Wednesday is expected to serve over 120 school children.

“We are proud to assist this community working hand-in hand with our Filipino counterparts, said US Navy Lieutenant Joshua Moore, one of the US Navy Seabees contingents deployed on humanitarian mission under the VFA.

The VFA’s forthcoming termination, will  significantly reduce US military engagements in not only on humanitarian undertakings in the country but  also in key  activities such as  joint military exercises, assistance in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to the local security forces engage in anti-terrorism operations.

The US embassy said the US Navy Seabees construction projects for Philippine communities have reached  over P100 million or $1.9 million since October, 2016. – With  Jaime         

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