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US, Philippines to announce new defence base access

The United States will soon have access to more military bases in the Philippines as part of an expanded defence co-operation agreement.

March 21, 2023
21 March 2023

The United States and the Philippines will announce new sites as soon as possible for an expanded Enhanced Defense Co-operation Agreement (EDCA) giving the Western power access to military bases in the Southeast Asian country.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr last month granted the US access to four military bases, on top of five existing locations under the 2014 EDCA agreement.

US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall spoke after meeting Philippines’ defence chief Carlito Galvez at the Basa Air Base in Pampanga, north of the capital Manila, where they led a groundbreaking ceremony for the rehabilitation of the base’s runway.

“Today’s event is a physical manifestation of our Enhanced Defense Co-operation Agreement, a key pillar of the US-Philippine alliance,” Kendall said in a speech.

“It builds our mutual defence treaty that applies anywhere in the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea.” 

The rehabilitation of the runway is part of $US82 million ($A123 million) the US has allocated toward infrastructure investments at the existing five EDCA sites.

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