US funding $2-M fuel depot at Ebuen Airbase in Cebu

CEBU CITY – The United States is funding the construction of a new fuel depot at the Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base (M-BEAB) in Lapu-Lapu City as part of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the US.

US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson said the US has allocated $2 million (about P111 million) for the construction of the fuel depot, which has the capacity to store up to 40,000 liters of fuel.


US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson answers questions from the media during her first visit to Cebu on Friday, May 19. (Calvin D. Cordova)

The construction will be completed by “September or by October at the latest,” she said.

“We’re investing money to build a fuel depot. Two large tanks will be positioned there so they can enhance the ability of Philippine aircraft to come in and refuel,” Carlson said during a media roundtable on Friday, May 19, in a hotel here.

Carlson is in Cebu for a three-day official trip.

While in Cebu, Carlson was scheduled to meet local chief executives and members of the business community.

She was also scheduled to visit the M-BEAB which is adjacent to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

M-BEAB  is one of the five original Philippine military bases covered under EDCA.

The construction of the fuel depot was upon the recommendation of the Philippine military.

It will be up to the Philippine military to decide who can use the depot once it is completed.

“Once that site is completed, it will enhance interoperability between US forces and Philippines forces. But that site belongs to the Philippines,” Carlson said.