Sunday, February 7, 2016

Palace: Portion of Cagayan de Oro airport designated for EDCA

From the Philippine Star (Feb 8): Palace: Portion of Cagayan de Oro airport designated for EDCA

Lumbia Airport in Cagayan De Oro serves as a minor base of the Philippine Air Force. CC/Hans Olav Lien

Only part of Lumbia Airport in Cagayan De Oro will be converted into a storage depot for disaster relief equipment under the security agreement between the Philippines and the United States, MalacaƱang noted on Sunday.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that a facility will be built at a designated area in the domestic airport under the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, or HADR, efforts clause in the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

Asked which areas will be used by the US military under the EDCA, Coloma said the Philippines and the US have yet to agree on specific locations for the rotational presence of American troops.

"Nais nating linawin (na) ang tinutukoy na pasilidad ay isang storage depot para sa kagamitang nakalaan sa mga kalamidad. Bahagi ito ng programang HADRna mahalagang elemento ng Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement," Coloma said in an interview on state-run dzRB.

"Sa panahon ng bagyo, lindol o iba pang kalamidad, makatutulong ang pasilidad na ito sa agarang paghatid ng tulong at kalinga sa mga apektadong komunidad," Coloma added.

Coloma said that even with the storage facilitary for HADR equipment under the EDCA, the Philippine armed forces are still expected to be the first reponders in times of disaster.

According to reports, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Lumbia Airport will be utilized for storing military equipment for rescue operations during emergencies.

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