Termination of VFA may ‘negatively impact’ PH - Sec. Locsin

Termination of VFA may ‘negatively impact’ PH - Sec. Locsin

Somebody has to tell the President about the repercussion of his decision if it will push through, might as well the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary to whom the President has an open line of communication.
DFA Secretary Locsin will have to explain to President Duterte that the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States of America at this point in time would result to a lot of negative effects on the country.

“While the Philippines has the prerogative to terminate the VFA anytime, the continuance of the agreement is deemed to be more beneficial to the Philippines compared to any benefits where it to be terminated,” Locsin said during the hearing by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
DFA Secretary Teodoro Boy Locsin Jr.
(photo credit to owner)

“Terminating the VFA will negatively impact the Philippines’ defense and security arrangements as well as the overall bilateral relations of the Philippines with the US, and perhaps even on the sub-regional and multilateral levels,” he said.
The Foreign Secretary said terminating the 21 year old agreement may not only compromise existing PH-US goodwill and friendly relations but might as well affect the robust economic relations between the two countries.
“GSP exports account for 16 percent of total exports to the US valued at USD1.7 billion in 2018. It may be noted also that the Philippines currently enjoys a trade surplus with the US with our exports outpacing imports by as much as USD371.98 million as of June 2019,” Locsin said.

The US is also the Philippines’ 5th largest source of investments, accounting for some USD12.9 billion in 2018, he said.
“US assistance facilitated by VFA may dry up,” Locsin said.
In terms of official development assistance (ODA), Locsin said the US is the country's largest source of grants, accounting for 36.89 shares of total grants in 2018 amounting to USD886.47 million.
From 2016-2019, the US provided substantial development assistance in the amount of USD336.306 million (PHP16.8 billion), which funded programs for scholarships and seminars and projects of education, health, environment, agriculture, fisheries, trade, labor, and governance.

“This brings total US assistance to the Philippines for the same period to USD904.93 million,” Sec. Locsin said.

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Report from PNA

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