Topic: Visiting Forces Agreement (Balikatan)
Thesis Statement: The Philippines should consider terminating its Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States before it’s too late for the government to overcome its unexpected dilemma.
What is the RP–US Visiting Forces Agreement?
A bilateral agreement between the between the Philippines and the United States consisting of two separate agreement documents. a.
Balikatan as VFA-1
Balikatan as VFA-2 or the Counterpart Agreement
There are several negative effects of “Balikatan” in the country. 1.
Balikatan exercises threatened our environment and ecological resources. a.
In the past Balikatan exercises, war and combat simulations which involved maneuverings and live fire exercises have caused coral reef destruction and ecological pollution. b.
Dumping of toxic wastes and nuclear-powered submarines are very dangerous to the health. 2.
Balikatan exercises can affect the peace and order situation in the country. a.
Danger to life, honor, safety, and peace of the citizens, like what happened to Nicole (Subic Bay rape victim) and to the other Filipinos threatened since the VFA was signed. 3.
Balikatan exercises can affect the industrial and agricultural sector. a.
During the dangerous exercises, farmers, fisher folk and indigenous people are banned from attending crops or fishing at the seas, thus, does it affect their livelihood.
What are other alternatives aside from recent visiting forces agreement? a.
Improved the facilities and human forces by setting the international standard in military tactics. b.
A new refined and version of visiting forces agreement with the US or other countries that protects the Philippine and international laws on the protection and preservation of the environment.
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