11. April 2021
Ratification Of Visiting Forces Agreement
The Philippine Senate, which votes 17 to 1, ratified the agreement on July 24, 2012.  Lonely dissident Senator Joker Arroyo questioned the sudden ratification of SOVFA and suggested that the unresolved territorial dispute between the Philippines and China may have triggered the vote.  The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs welcomed the Senate`s approval, while the president`s spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, said in a statement that the Senate „has taken an important step toward improving our national and regional security by ratifying the Status of Visiting Forces Agreement (SOVFA) between Australia and the Philippines.“  Moreover, it does not matter whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive agreement because an executive agreement is as binding under international law as a treaty.35 As long as the VFA has the elements of an international agreement, that agreement must be considered a treaty. The VFA will remain „in force“ until the Philippines, after 180 days from the date, informs the United States in writing of its intention to denounce the agreement. The VFA was signed in February 1998 under the mandate of Fidel V. Ramos, then President, followed in October by a counter-agreement on Filipino personnel who visited the United States. It was ratified shortly thereafter by President Joseph „Erap“ Estrada, who succeeded Ramos, and officially entered into force in June 1999, after approval by the Philippine Senate. „MR. MAAMBONG. It goes without saying that when the other state is ratified according to its own laws, it is only their concern. In finding that the 4APs meet the constitutional requirement that they „are recognized as a treaty by the other contracting state,“ the above-mentioned exchanges of constitutional commissioners make it clear that scale should be U.S.
constitutional law. It is therefore an additional in-depth investigation into the power of U.S. presidents to enter into executive agreements under U.S. constitutional law. The agreement contains various procedural safeguards to protect due process rights and prohibit dual threats.  [VIII 2-6] The agreement also exempts Filipino personnel from visa formalities and ensures expedited entry and exit;  [IV] requires the United States to accept Philippine driver`s licenses;  [V] authorizes Philippine personnel to carry weapons to U.S. military facilities during deployment;  [VI] provides for exemptions and import/export duties for Filipino personnel;  [X, XI] requires the United States to provide medical care to Filipino personnel;  [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.  [XV] 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. First, the Philippine security establishment still appreciates the alliance. Philippine forces continue to benefit from the VFA and receive military assistance, training, training and weapons. And although the Philippine Foreign Minister and Defence Minister mentioned the need to review the agreement and develop an autonomous national defence, the two did not openly ask for an end to the VFA. Major Philippine lawmakers also called on Duterte to reconsider his decision on the VFA. EDCA`s „agreed sites“ relate to Philippine government territories and facilities, the United States