US, Philippines eye ''14 proposed projects'' under new EDCA sites: AFP
The United States and Philippine government are eyeing "14 proposed projects" under the new Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites, an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) official said.
In an interview with defense reporters, Col. Medel Aguilar, AFP spokesman said among the projects to be constructed in four additional EDCA sites includes a command and control fusion system; constructions of mess hall, additional billeting facilities, port with water supply, humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) warehouse, HADR hangar with electrical and water facilities, billeting of personnel or barracks with complete amenities, and the rehabilitation of runway.
Aguilar said it also includes the acquisition of generators and installation of electrical systems.
"The projects were already identified so it is now ready for implementation depending on when the budget will be released," he said.
Aguilar said five projects under the first five EDCA sites were completed, while others are ongoing and seven are pending while waiting for next year's funding.
"For the completed projects we have three in Basa Air Base and we have two in Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan so we have a fusion center, HADR warehouse and we have fuel storage facilities," he said.
Aside from military benefits including the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Aguilar stressed that the EDCA sites will also be helpful in HADR operations as he mentioned that as part of the government's preparations for the possible effect of Super Typhoon Mawar in the country the government is considering the use of EDCA sites as storage of relief items.
"Now we are looking, making these facility available especially that we have an upcoming typhoon, we are looking at, to serve its purpose and to be able to help our countrymen who would be affected, hopefully it will not landfall but at least we have facility that we can use for the storage of relief goods," he said. Robina Asido/DMS