The agreement contains various procedural safeguards to protect due process rights and prohibit dual threats.  [VIII 2-6] The agreement also exempts Filipino personnel from visa formalities and ensures expedited entry and exit;  [IV] requires the United States to accept Philippine driver`s licenses;  [V] authorizes Philippine personnel to carry weapons to U.S. military facilities during deployment;  [VI] provides for exemptions and import/export duties for Filipino personnel;  [X, XI] requires the United States to provide medical care to Filipino personnel;  [XIV] and exempts Philippine vehicles, ships and aircraft from landing or port charges, shipping or overflight charges, road tolls or any other charge for the use of U.S. military installations.  [XV] As I have already mentioned in these pages, the alliance between the United States and the Philippines, born in 1951 from the Mutual Defence Treaty, is based on a deep and extensive partnership between the two countries and was no stranger to the most stressful measures, including in the field of defence – be it the renegotiation of basic agreements in the 1970s or the closure of American military installations in the early 1990s. It is even worth recalling that the VFA itself is the result of a period of uncertainty for the Alliance in the 1990s: the agreement, ratified in May 1999 and which regulates the conditions under which US military personnel may temporarily be present in the Philippines, was achieved after the Philippines perceived an increased threat from China in the early to mid-1990s, after the closure of US bases. Close ties between Manila and Washington have also generated economic benefits, with the United States inclined to give “preferential treatment” to its traditional allies, Locsin said. Second, it is not clear whether the president has the constitutional authority to repeal an international agreement ratified by the Philippine Senate. Senators still disagree on whether Duterte can unilaterally terminate the VFA and have even proposed that the Supreme Court weigh in on the legality of Duterte`s decision. The VFA is an agreement to implement the 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty (MDT) in which both countries agree to respond in “unity” to any external armed attack on their territory, armed forces, public vessels and aircraft.
The United States has used the agreement at least twice to keep the accused military under U.S. jurisdiction.  On January 18, 2006, the U.S. Military retained custody of four soldiers accused of rape while they were visiting Subic Bay during their trial in a Philippine court.  They were detained by U.S. officials at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. This has led to protests from those who believe that the agreement is unilateral, harmful and contrary to the sovereignty of the Philippines. [Citation required] The agreement has been characterized as immunity from criminal prosecution for U.S. military personnel who commit crimes against Filipinos and treatment of Filipinos as second-class citizens in their own country.   As a result of these problems, some members of the Philippine Congress considered ending the VFA in 2006.   However, the agreement has not been amended.
My research explains how the VFA itself is the product of past alliance conflicts. In 1991, a more nationalist Philippine Senate voted not to renew a reciprocal basing agreement. Their decision led to the closure of the Subic naval base and effectively forced the withdrawal of all American troops from the Philippines. However, in the mid-1990s, increased security problems in the South China Sea and the slow pace of modernization of Philippine forces led Manila to revive defence relations with Washington with the signing of the VFA in 1998.