The Philippine Embassy lauds another milestone in Philippines-Australia relations with the concurrence by the Philippine Senate of the Philippines-Australia Status of Visiting Forces Agreement (SOVFA) on 24 July 2012.
The SOVFA provides for a comprehensive legal framework to support defense personnel who are engaged in joint military training exercises and other related activities conducted in the Philippines or in Australia.
It also paves the way for enhanced cooperation in capacity-building and training of the armed forces, interoperability to undertake humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations, counter-terrorism, and maritime border security.
Australia has been a longstanding partner of the Philippines in strengthening its maritime security capability. With the Agreement’s entry into force security initiatives such as the Coast Watch South and joint Maritime Training Activity LUMBAS are expected to be further expanded.
The SOVFA was signed in Canberra on 31 May 2007 and was ratified by President Benigno S. Aquino on 23 December 2010.