Palace bares locations of 4additional sites for EDCA


MALACAÑANG finally announced the locations of the four additional Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites in Luzon.

In a statement on Monday, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) disclosed the new EDCA sites will be located at the 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. The four new sites will be in addition to the five existing EDCA locations located in Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, Nueva Ecija, Palawan and Pampanga.

PCO Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has already inspected and assessed the new EDCA sites.

Citing the earlier statement  of the Department of National Defense (DND), she said the new EDCA sites will be “used as storage and warehouse facilities for military logistics,” and not as American military bases.

The announcement comes days before the conduct of the Balikatan exercises of Filipino and American troops from April 24 to 27, 2023.

In February, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. authorized the grant to the United States military of access to the additional EDCA sites to help “defend the country’s eastern coast,” and to also serve as staging areas for the country’s disaster response initiatives.

He said the national government has already secured the approval of the local government units (LGU) where the new EDCA sites will be located.

Some of the LGUs initially opposed hosting the EDCA sites since it may put their constituents at risk to potential attacks.