Plans to build facilities for U.S. troops in the Philippines, which had stalled for years amid wrangling over rules for visiting forces, are back on track, officials from both countries said Thursday.
“We plan to move fairly quickly,” Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said during an online conference sponsored by Pacific Forum. The Hawaii-based think tank organized the event to discuss the allies’ 70-year-old Mutual Defense Treaty.
Facilities for U.S. forces at five bases were authorized by the Philippines government under the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.
The pact allows U.S. troops and contractors to operate at agreed-upon locations in the Philippines. Although the revised Philippine constitution bans permanent U.S. bases, the agreement hands U.S. forces operational control of the shared facilities and allows them to stockpile defense equipment and supplies.
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