The Philippine Senate ratified the VFA in 1999. To avoid the impression of a permanent deployment of U.S. troops to the Philippines, the Senate emphasized the „visiting“ and „temporary“ status of U.S. forces, consistent with their 1991 decision to abolish U.S. bases in the Philippines. Disputes over the cost of rebuilding the bases have helped significantly reduce their military footprint in the Philippines, Schaus said. The VFA was signed in 1998 to reduce the bureaucracy needed for U.S. forces to travel to the Philippines. U.S. and Philippine officials said today that the U.S. willingness to retain the subsian base has weakened in recent months, especially after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. „World events have overtaken Subic and undermined its value,“ said Alan Ortiz, deputy director of the Philippine government`s National Security Council. But the imminent end of the Cold War, concerns about the behavior of U.S.

troops, and the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June 1991, which severely damaged the facilities of both bases, meant the end of the huge naval facility. Given the broad support for the alliance, Philippine political leaders may want to avoid provoking a major foreign policy crisis as they prepare for the upcoming 2022 presidential elections. Although the elections are still more than two years old, Filipino politicians have learned from their previous rejection of U.S. bases that restoring the damage to the alliance takes several years. In short, high diplomatic and security costs outweigh the political utility of ending the VFA. U.S. and Philippine officials reached a preliminary agreement last summer on a contract that would have extended the naval base`s lease by at least another decade in exchange for an annual aid of $US 203 million. But the Philippine Senate rejected the treaty in September after a heated debate where the US military presence was attacked as a vestige of colonialism and as an affront to Philippine sovereignty. Yesterday, 29 years ago, the Senate vote brought down the curtain on the huge U.S.

naval base in Subic Bay. For much of the twentieth century, the United States…