US to start constructing facilities for EDCA in 2017—Lorenzana
The United States is expected to start building storage facilities within the year at the Philippine military bases that will be used for the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
“The EDCA is still on and according to the Pentagon, they will start constructing some facilities in the EDCA chosen camps,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters in a press briefing on Thursday.
Basa Air Base in Pampanga is likely the first camp that the US will develop, he said.
Other chosen sites of the US to put up their facilities include Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro and Mactan Air Base in Cebu.
“[They will develop the] runway and put up facilities also for their troops. Mga imbakan nila ng mga gamit nila kung nandito but they can leave the building there and leave and they can come back again,” Lorenzana said.
The defense chief could not immediately say the amount of the US budget and when exactly the construction would start.
“We do not have the figures, but they will start this year,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, a critic of the United States, is aware of the plans of the US.
“He is aware of that. Sabi naman niya we will honor all agreements that were entered,” Lorenzana said.
The EDCA, which was signed in 2014, allows increased US military presence in the Philippines through the rotation of its personnel and logistics for maritime security operations and disaster response. JE
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