Even Foreign Minister Tedoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin, Jr. said earlier that the sustainability of the agreement was considered “more beneficial” to the Philippines. At a Senate hearing, he highlighted the benefits the Philippines has received from the VFA, including military aid, subsidies and deterrence against possible attacks from other countries, among others. The Philippines-U.S. Visiting Agreement, sometimes the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement, is a bilateral agreement between the Philippines and the United States, which consists of two separate documents. The first of these documents is commonly referred to as “VFA” or “VFA-1″ and the second is referred to as “VFA-2” or “counterparty agreement.”  A Visiting Forces Agreement is a version of an agreement on the status of the armed forces that applies only to troops temporarily stationed in a country. The agreements entered into force on 27 May 1999, after ratification by the Philippine Senate.    The U.S. government considers these documents to be executive agreements that do not require the approval of the U.S. Senate.   The Agreement on Enhanced Defence Cooperation (EDCA), signed in April 2014 under then-President Benigno Aquino III, aims to operationalize the VFA. Military activities authorized by the Philippines are also insinuated in the context of the VFA.
The executive agreement provides for an increased military turnover of U.S. troops, aircraft and ships in the Philippines and allows them greater access to military bases in the country. The VFA also provides for a reciprocal or contrary agreement, signed on 9 October 1998. This agreement applies to Filipino personnel temporarily sent to the United States. 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. On February 11, 2020, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte officially announced at the U.S. Embassy in Manila that he was coming to an end to the pact, with the denunciation expected to come into force in 180 days, unless otherwise agreed during that period. In the past, Duterte has shown admiration for both Russian forces and the People`s Liberation Army of China, although the Philippines and China are involved in a dispute in the South China Sea over sovereignty over the Spratly Islands.  In June 2020, the Philippine government reversed this decision and announced that it was maintaining the agreement.  The EDCA allows U.S. forces to use and access “agreed locations” in the country, including for security cooperation, humanitarian and disaster relief operations, as well as to “pre-position and store” equipment and equipment for the same purpose.
Although Duterte did not threaten to withdraw from the MDT and EDCA, both would still be affected.