New EDCA sites to make way for military infra modernization

2023 April 6

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) locations will provide the military with the needed infrastructure in modernizing its forces.

“EDCA will give us the needed infrastructure to develop our force in line with our acquisition of modern equipment,” AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said in a statement Wednesday night.

The Philippines earlier named Naval Base Camilo Osias in Sta. Ana, Cagayan; Lal-lo Airport in Lal-lo, Cagayan; Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela; and Balabac Island in Palawan as additional EDCA locations.

The proposal to add additional EDCA locations was announced by the Philippines and US defense departments last February.

These new locations add to the five EDCA locations earlier picked by Manila and Washington D.C. — Cesar Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga; Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Nueva Ecija; Lumbia Airfield in Cagayan de Oro City; Antonio Bautista Air Base in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan; and Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu.

“The new EDCA sites are strategic in the AFP’s thrust to strengthen its capacity to protect the people and the state, advance our national interests, and enhance the country’s disaster response capability,” Aguilar said.

He added that they will closely coordinate with our US counterpart to realize these objectives.

“We also appreciate the US’ commitment to prioritize the needs of our local communities and hope to do our share of bringing our alliance closer than ever to the benefit of the Filipino people,” Aguilar said.

Military gets R&R flight

Meanwhile, APhilippine Air Force (PAF) C-295 medium transport aircraft on Wednesday ferried 39 military personnel availing of their rest and recreation (R&R) period this Holy Week.

These soldiers were deployed in Jolo and transported to Manila for their R&R, AFP public affairs office chief Col. Jorry Baclor said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the same aircraft also transported 13 troops from Isabela to Jolo for deployment. “The C-295 flight for R&R is part of the AFP’s initiatives to continue boosting the morale and welfare of military personnel after their long months of deployment to areas away from their homes,” Baclor said.

He added R&R privileges will help military personnel, especially those who worked under hazardous operations, to recuperate and be reunited with their families.

“With these privileges, the AFP continues to ensure the safety of its personnel as they continue to perform their mandated task of protecting the Filipino people and securing the state,” Baclor said. 

Priam Nepomuceno