|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 19, 2003
Fact Sheet: Announcements Related to the Visit of President Arroyo
Counterterrorism Equipment and Training: $30 million in new grant aid for equipment and training of Armed Forces of the Philippines targeted at capabilities for countering terrorist groups within Philippines.
Development Assistance to Conflict Areas: $30 million in new bilateral development assistance for Mindanao and support for the peace process with the MILF, as appropriate.
Establishment of Combat Engineering Unit: $25 million in new grant assistance to train and equip a combat engineering unit and provide other military needs in the war on terror. The engineering unit will be able to do civic action and humanitarian projects in conflict zones.
U.S. Military Support to Philippine Counterterrorism Operations: Agreement to provide U.S. military support to Armed Forces of the Philippines-led operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group.
Support to Philippine Military Mobility: 20 UH-1H helicopters, as they become available and funding for refurbishment and transport is secured; an additional 10 UH-1H helicopters to be provided to ensure sufficient spare parts.
Comprehensive Security Review: Launching of a comprehensive review of Philippine security needs and how the United States can best support Philippine military modernization and reform.
U.S. Defense Goods and Services: Up to $10 million in Presidential Drawdown Authority for equipment, spare parts and maintenance.
Major Non NATO Ally Status: Commitment to designate the Philippines a Major Non NATO Ally (MNNA) to allow U.S. and Philippines to work together on military research and development and give Philippines greater access to American defense equipment and supplies.
Reciprocal Presidential Visit: Acceptance by President Bush of President Arroyo's invitation to visit Manila in October 2003.
Remittance Facilitation Initiative: Launching of an initiative to facilitate and reduce transaction fees on remittances from overseas Filipinos, which could save Filipino workers as much as an estimated $300 million annually.
Generalized System of Preferences Benefits: Agreement for tariff-free, GSP benefits to 8 specific products requested by the Philippines.
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