WASHINGTON -- The United States stands steadfastly in support of the Philippines as we announced plans today to expand the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Arrangement (EDCA) to include four new sites: Naval Base Camilo Osias in Santa Ana, Cagayan; Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela; Balabac Island in Palawan; and Lal-lo Airport in Cagayan.
The naming of these locations follows a February 2023 announcement in which the United States and the Philippines committed to designate four new EDCA sites in strategic areas of the Philippines.
In addition to the five existing sites, these new locations will strengthen the interoperability of the U.S. and Philippine Armed Forces and allow us to respond more seamlessly together to address a range of shared challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, including natural and humanitarian disasters. The Department of Defense will work in lockstep with the Philippine Department of National Defense and Armed Forces to rapidly pursue modernization projects at these locations.
The Department intends to expand funding on top of the $82 million we have already allocated toward infrastructure investments at the existing EDCA sites. In addition to supporting Alliance commitments, these investments will also spur economic growth and job opportunities in their respective provinces.
The United States is committed to ensuring its activities around EDCA sites are responsive to the needs and priorities of local communities, and we will continue to consult closely with the Philippines on new opportunities that serve our shared interests.
The United States and the Philippines have stood shoulder-to-shoulder as friends and allies for more than seven decades, unwavering in our treaty commitments and our shared vision for a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous region. The strides we are making to expand the EDCA and modernize the alliance will ensure this vision endures far into the future.