Palace hopes Senate passes SOVFA

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 13 2012 02:40 PM | Updated as of Jul 13 2012 10:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Palace hopes that the Senate will ratify the Philippines’ Status of Visiting Forces Agreement with Australia.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Secretary Ricky Carandang said the agreement would be beneficial to the Philippines in its effort to enhance security.
“The VFA with Australia has been negotiated. It’s been ratified by the Australian parliament and we’re confident that the Senate will ratify it. We’re beyond the point where we can change or revise it right now,” Carandang said, reacting to statements of legislators opposed to its ratification. 
“I think what’s important is: Is it going to be significant in terms of our security configuration and our security needs? Do we need the assistance? Is it in our benefit, does it enhance our mutual security? And I think the answer to those questions is yes, and we are hoping that the Senate can pass and ratify the agreement with Australia at the soonest possible time,” he added.
Asked if the Philippines will consider entering into a similar VFA agreement with other countries, Carandang said:
“Not necessarily visiting forces agreements or defense treaties but certain levels of cooperation with different countries. Depending on the country’s needs and the mutuality of our requirements, we can enter into different types of agreements not necessarily, VFAs or treaties. It could be simply supply contracts; it could be simply joint exercises. So there’s a whole range of activities that we can undertaken with different countries. So hindi po lahat ng bansa ay siguro kailangan nating gawan ng VFA or treaty, depende kung ano ‘yung pangangailangan natin at ‘yung pangangailangan nila.”