Palace: Four new EDCA sites will be in Cagayan, Isabela, Palawan

Kaycee Valmonte - Philstar.com
Palace: Four new EDCA sites will be in Cagayan, Isabela, Palawan
This photo taken on March 31, 2023 shows Brigadier General Francis Coronel (R), of Philippine army artillery regiment, shaking hands with US army soldiers after a live fire exercise during the joint exercise between the Philippines and the US at Fort Magsaysay in the Philippines' Nueva Ecija province.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines – The four additional sites under the Philippines and the United States will be located across Cagayan, Isabela, and Palawan, with a formal announcement slated soon.

The Presidential Communications Office on Monday said the EDCA sites will be in Cagayan’s Naval Base Camilo Osias and Lal-lo Airport, Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela, and Balabac Island in Palawan. The Armed Forces of the Philippines had already done its inspection and assessment of the sites. 

In an interview on March 22, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said the new sites are "scattered around" the country "to defend our eastern coast" and the country's continental shelf.

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba has publicly opposed having EDCA sites in his province, noting that it may jeopardize Chinese investment and was worried of becoming a target considering a brewing conflict in Taiwan. Marcos Jr. said he already spoke with officials of local government units to explain the importance of EDCA. 

“We explained to them why is it important that we have that and why it will actually be good for their province and it seemed like they eventually understood why it is needed,” Marcos Jr. said on March 22.

RELATED: Marcos: LGUs understand importance of EDCA sites

Nine EDCA sites, in total

Washington and Manila’s respective defense officials in February announced that Marcos Jr. has approved four more EDCA sites.

“Expansion of the EDCA will make our alliance stronger and more resilient, and will accelerate modernization of our combined military capabilities,” a joint statement between the US Department of Defense and the Philippine Department of National Defense read. 

This brings to nine the total military sites that US troops have access to for training and keeping supplies related to humanitarian relief efforts in the Philippines. 

The first five sites are located in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Nueva Ecija, Palawan, and Pampanga. The US has provided over $83 million to pursue the approved 21 bilateral projects in existing locations.

The agreement was signed in 2014 as a supplementary deal to the existing Visiting Forces Agreement between Manila and Washington. While it provides US troops access to military facilities, the Philippines retains its sovereignty over the agreed locations and the Philippine president is the one who approves which military base would be included in the agreement.

“The EDCA was primarily envisioned to develop our own bases and facilities in line with our overall efforts to enhance our defense posture, especially our preparedness for responding to disasters and emergencies,” Defense Officer-in-Charge Carlito Galvez Jr. said in a statement on February 4.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with