Visiting Forces Agreement Summary

The agreement contains various procedural safeguards to protect due process rights and prohibit dual threats. [2] [VIII 2-6] The agreement also exempts Filipino personnel from visa formalities and ensures expedited entry and exit; [2] [IV] requires the United States to accept Philippine driver`s licenses; [2] [V] authorizes Philippine personnel to carry weapons to U.S. military facilities during deployment; [2] [VI] provides for exemptions and import/export duties for Filipino personnel; [2] [X, XI] requires the United States to provide medical care to Filipino personnel; [2] [XIV] and exempts Philippine vehicles, ships and aircraft from landing or port charges, shipping or overflight charges, road tolls or any other charge for the use of U.S. military installations. [2] [XV] A1: No The VFA is an agreement between the two countries to support the Mutual Defence Treaty (MDT). The MDT was established in 1951 between the United States and the Philippines to provide mutual assistance in the event of an attack on foreigners. As a contract for the execution of the VFA, EDCA authorizes the prepositioning of war materials on approved sites. This includes strengthening the modernization capabilities of the Philippine armed forces. READ: The pH of the military pact with the UNITED States) Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – The Philippines is currently investigating the effects of a possible exit from a 1998 agreement with the United States on the treatment of its military personnel, known as the Visiting Forces Agreement. On February 11, 2020, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte officially announced at the U.S. Embassy in Manila that he was coming to an end to the pact, with the denunciation expected to come into force in 180 days, unless otherwise agreed during that period. In the past, Duterte has shown admiration for both Russian forces and the People`s Liberation Army of China, although the Philippines and China are involved in a dispute in the South China Sea over sovereignty over the Spratly Islands.

[15] In June 2020, the Philippine government reversed this decision and announced that it was maintaining the agreement. [16] The Agreement on Enhanced Defence Cooperation (EDCA), signed in April 2014 under then-President Benigno Aquino III, aims to operationalize the VFA. Military activities authorized by the Philippines are also insinuated in the context of the VFA. The executive agreement provides for an increased military turnover of U.S. troops, aircraft and ships in the Philippines and allows them greater access to military bases in the country. But the VFA, the last iteration of which was originally ratified in 1999, plays a fundamental role in normal military activities within the Alliance`s boundaries. Without VFA, the temporary presence of U.S. forces in the Philippines and, importantly, the implementation of the Defence Cooperation Act 2014 (EDCA) would be impossible. Manila and Washington have 180 days to renegotiate the VFA before it expires. Repeated criticism of the VFA by civil society groups could provide Duterte and its allies with some political cover to adapt the terms of the agreement.

However, the Philippine president will find it difficult to eliminate the VFA for the long term due to domestic opposition and broader strategic concerns. The VFA must clarify the conditions under which foreign military personnel can operate. In general, a VFA deals primarily with legal issues relating to military individuals and property. This may include issues such as entry and departure, tax obligations, postal services or the conditions of employment of nationals of the host country, but the most controversial issues are the civil and criminal competences of visiting staff.