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Palace raises VFA review; US releases $.8M in aid By Michaela P. del Callar 10/25/2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Palace raises VFA review; US releases $.8M in aid

By Michaela P. del Callar 10/25/2010

With the Palace, yesterday, drumming up a review of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) the country has with the US government, US Ambassador Harry Thomas unveiled yesterday $800,000 in additional disaster relief assistance for victims of super typhoon “Juan” at the same time extolling the VFA that he said was instrumental in the quick deployment of US soldiers in responding to relief and rescue operations on typhoon victims.

Thomas said funding will come from the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), bringing the total in typhoon aid offered to $900,000. A donation of $100,000 was made by Washington last week.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said the Aquino administration is committed to a thorough review of the (VFA) so that refinements can be introduced to ensure that the country obtains the maximum benefits of the bilateral agreement.

“The VFA was envisioned to be a mutually beneficial agreement that would serve the interests of both our country and the United States,” said Ochoa, who also chairs the Presidential Commission on the VFA. “The President, however, believes that a review is necessary because we must evaluate whether we are getting the most out of the VFA,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101025hed2.html

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