EDCA to beef up PHL maritime security, humanitarian disaster relief capabilities

MANILA — With the Enhanced Defense Cooperation with the US declared constitutional by the Supreme Court (SC) Tuesday, efforts to improve Philippine maritime security and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities will definitely be improved.

Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Dr. Peter Paul Galvez in a message to the PNA Tuesday said,”The DND welcomes the ruling of our SC declaring EDCA constitutional. With this development that builds upon our mutual defense treaty, we look forward to advancing our defense modernization and strengthening maritime Security and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities.”

The SC, voting 10-4-1, declared EDCA as constitutional.

It also upheld the position of the government that the EDCA is an executive agreement and does not need the Senate concurrence.

In the same vein, Galvez said this put the Armed Forces of the Philippines in a better position to improve inter-operability with the US military aside from improving the AFP’s capabilities.

Finalized after eight rounds of talks that began in August 2013, EDCA, which was signed in 2014, allows US troops access to designated Philippine military facilities, the right to construct facilities, and pre-position equipment, aircraft and vessels, but rules out permanent basing. Priam F. Nepomuceno/PNA / northboundasia.com