Washington DC, 4 April 2023 (TDI): The United States (US) and the Philippines have announced the expansion of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Arrangement (EDCA) with the designation of four new strategic locations in the Philippines.
NEWS: The United States and the Philippines announced the locations of four new Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement—EDCA—sites today following a February 2023 commitment to expand the EDCA. Learn more: https://t.co/9q6opFGzed
— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) April 3, 2023
The new EDCA sites will include Naval Base Camilo Osias in Santa Ana, Cagayan; Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela; Balabac Island in Palawan; and Lal-lo Airport in Cagayan.
The US Department of Defense will work alongside the Philippines Department of National Defense and Armed Forces to pursue modernization projects at these locations, in addition to the infrastructure investments already allocated at the existing EDCA sites.
Both countries have been friends and allies for over seven decades, and this latest move reinforces their unwavering treaty commitments.
The US Defense Department intends to expand funding to support the modernization and infrastructure development of the new EDCA sites.
This will not only strengthen the alliance commitments but also promote economic growth and job opportunities in the provinces where these sites are located.
As a responsible partner, the US recognizes the importance of ensuring that its activities around EDCA sites are responsive to the needs and priorities of local communities.
The US Department of Defense will continue to consult with the Philippines government to identify new opportunities that serve their shared interests.
Significance of this announcement
The announcement of the expansion of the EDCA marks another significant step towards strengthening the alliance between the US and the Philippines.
This expansion will strengthen the interoperability of the US and Philippines Armed Forces and enable them to respond seamlessly to a range of shared challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, including natural disasters and humanitarian crises.
“It’s a big day for a core pillar of the U.S.-Philippine alliance. Four new EDCA sites will help us work together even more closely to meet the challenges we share.” https://t.co/q5C1x1yo3D
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) April 3, 2023
In a nutshell, the US remains committed to supporting the Philippines government in enhancing its defense capabilities and strengthening the partnership between the two countries.
The US Department of Defense is optimistic about the future of the US-Philippines alliance and looks forward to continuing to work with the Philippine government to pursue opportunities that benefit both countries.