Subic Bay Naval Base, on 36,000 acres in the Philippines, is the largest U.S. ship repair and refueling facility in the Pacific. Clark Air Base, on 130,000 acres just northeast of Subic Bay, is the largest U.S. military installation outside the United States. The future of the bases, which have 38,000 Americans, has become a major issue in Friday's Philippine presidential elections.
President Ferdinand Marcos said in November that he favors extension of a military bases treaty with the United States even after the lease expires in 1991. His opponent, Corazon Aquino, has made conflicting statements about what she would do. Her campaign advisers now say she favors retaining the bases.
Under the U.S.-Philippine bases pact announced in 1978, the United States was granted continued "unhampered" use of Clark and Subic Bay.
In return, the Carter administration promised the Philippine government hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic aid over the following five fiscal years as part of a security assistance package. The Philippines had received U.S. economic and military aid before 1980, but it was not tied to a bases pact.
After a review of the pact in 1983, President Reagan pledged "our best efforts" to provide $425 million in military aid over the five fiscal years beginning in fiscal 1985. Congress has sharply reduced military aid while increasing economic assistance, despite his pledge.
The accompanying chart shows funds authorized by Congress for the Philippines since fiscal year 1976.
The military loans and grants listed are distributed through the Foreign Military Sales Financing Program (FMS), the Military Assistance Program (MAP) and the International Military Education and Training Program (IMET). The economic assistance listed is distributed through the Economic Support Fund (ESF).