The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites are seen to boost the disaster response of the country as the locations will also be used for humanitarian and relief operations during emergencies and natural disasters, a Department of Defense (DND) official said Saturday.
“Some of these facilities ay magiging base for our humanitarian… assistance, disaster relief operations na importante sa atin dahil tayo ay — at least 20 typhoons tumatama sa atin at dahil nasa Ring of Fire nga tayo na mabatid naman natin na panay-panay ang lindol sa atin,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in news forum in Quezon City.
“So ito ‘pag nag-preposition ng kagamitan dito, assets that will be used for disaster relief, malaking bagay na iyong EDCA site kung malapit siya doon sa area,” the DND executive said.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. earlier announced that Filipino and American officials have already identified and agreed on the four EDCA sites that will be formally announced soon.
The President granted last month US troops’ access to four more Philippine military camps, on top of the five existing locations under the EDCA.
Andolong reiterated that the EDCA sites will not be American military bases.
These sites, the DND official noted, would be used as storage and warehouse facilities for military logistics.
“Nais ko pong i-reiterate ano, liliwanagin ko na ang EDCA sites ay hindi po base militar ng Amerikano iyan. Ito po ay pansamantalang—tulad ng sinasabi ko, bahay lang nila ‘pag pupunta sila rito, pagtataguan ng gamit – maaring iiwan nila iyong kagamitan nila diyan para sa next exercise ay nandidiyan na kasi mas logistically practical iyon. At iyong mga tropa nila na dadating dito ay hindi rin permanente iyon – parang extended training lang,” Andolong explained.
The DND spokesman said these sites are strategically located to enhance the defensive posture of the country. #