The United States and the Philippines have long maintained a friendly relationship with each other. But this bilateral relationship took a better turn when U.S. President Obama visited the Philippines last year. During this time, the EDCA military agreement was signed which, once approved, will enable both parties to cooperate in setting up a defense base and be more active in carrying out various humanitarian efforts in the region.
EDCA, short for the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, is a move that will promote peace and security not only for the Philippines but also for the region as well. This is one of the latest moves done by the United States in their active effort to aid the stability of the region ever since the aggression of China first surfaced. It goes without saying that this agreement is a boost to the security of the Philippines especially since it is one of the key players in the conflict over the territories in the South China Sea.
With the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement as its foundation, the EDCA will see to the cooperation between the two parties’ armed forces, development of maritime security and provision of humanitarian assistance. U.S. forces will be authorized to operate in agreed locations between the two parties as well as allow them to store and handle their supplies, provided that there will be no nuclear weapons. Likewise, EDCA stipulates that the U.S. will not establish any sort of permanent military base in the country.
The last two stipulations were set in place after many critics questioned the constitutionality of the agreement. Although EDCA face a number of oppositions, many are confident that the agreement will be approved by the Philippine Supreme Court, and will subsequently commence, before the end of the year.