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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting With the Republic of the Philippines Department of National Defense Senior Undersecretary and Officer in Charge Jose Faustino, Jr.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III hosted a bilateral meeting today in Hawaii with Senior Undersecretary and Officer in Charge Jose Faustino, Jr., Republic of the Philippines Department of National Defense.  During the meeting, the two leaders reaffirmed their mutual commitment to the ironclad alliance and discussed ways to strengthen Mutual Defense Treaty commitments, enhance maritime cooperation, and improve interoperability and information sharing. They welcomed a commitment by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to increase the pace of military-to-military engagements, including annual bilateral exercises.

As part of the implementation of the recently signed U.S.–Philippines Maritime Framework, both agreed to work together to restart maritime cooperative activities in the South China Sea. 

Secretary Austin and Senior Undersecretary Faustino committed to accelerate implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) by concluding infrastructure enhancements and repair projects at existing EDCA sites and exploring new locations that will build a more credible mutual defense posture.

Secretary Austin reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to supporting the Philippines’ self-defense requirements and military modernization. He highlighted the State Department’s formal notification to Congress of its intent to provide an additional $100 million in Foreign Military Financing to the Philippines.  

Secretary Austin and Senior Undersecretary Faustino closed the meeting by reiterating their commitment to modernize the U.S.-Philippines alliance to better address future challenges and support a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region.