PH, US agree to 63 more projects inside all Edca sites — Brawner
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and the United States have approved 63 projects inside the nine Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) sites in the country, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Romeo Brawner.
“There are additional projects,” Brawner said in a media forum in Manila on Thursday. “As we discussed with our counterparts, we are adding 63 more projects to the Edca.”
According to Brawner, the projects will include the construction of roads, warehouses and drainage systems inside Edca sites.
The AFP chief also said Manila and Washington have not yet tackled increasing Edca sites in the country.
“We still have a lot of things to do, a lot of facilities to build. We have to make sure these are secure. We haven’t really talked about the additional Edca sites yet,” he said.
Edca sites are inside Philippine military bases in which US forces are allowed to rotate and store defense equipment and supplies.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. approved four new Edca locations in Gamu, Isabela; Lal-lo and Sta. Ana town in Cagayan; and Balabac, Palawan.
Three of these new sites — those in Cagayan and Isabela — are relatively near Taiwan, a self-ruled island which China regards as a renegade province subject to reunification.
These new Edca sites irked Beijing, stressing that the agreement was made so that Washington could “encircle and contain China” which would drag the Philippines into “the Taiwan question.”
Meanwhile, there are also five Edca sites located in Palawan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro City.