Military cooperation between the United States and the Philippines continued under Duterte, despite his skepticism of bilateral relations. Joint activities and U.S. assistance include external defence, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. U.S. and Philippine forces participated in some 281 joint activities in 2019. In May 2019, the Philippine Navy participated in the first joint navigation across the South China Sea with the United States, Japan and India. The two sides are continuing preparations for balikatan 2020, the largest regular joint exercise between the United States and the Philippines, scheduled for May, involving nearly 11,000 U.S., Filipino and Australian troops. The Philippines-U.S. Visiting Agreement, sometimes the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement, is a bilateral agreement between the Philippines and the United States, which consists of two separate documents.
The first of these documents is commonly referred to as “VFA” or “VFA-1″ and the second is referred to as “VFA-2” or “counterparty agreement.”  A Visiting Forces Agreement is a version of an agreement on the status of the armed forces that applies only to troops temporarily stationed in a country. The agreements entered into force on 27 May 1999, after ratification by the Philippine Senate.    The U.S. government considers these documents to be executive agreements that do not require the approval of the U.S. Senate.   A Visiting Force Agreement (VFA) is an agreement between a country and a foreign nation visiting military forces in that country. The agreements on visiting forces are similar in the intention of obtaining the agreements on the armed forces (SOFA). A VFA usually covers forces that are temporarily visiting, while a CANAPÉ usually covers forces in the host country as well as visiting missions. The second challenge, Suzette Nicolas y Sombilon Vs. Alberto Romulo, et al. / Jovito R.
Salonga, et al. Vs. Daniel Smith, et al. / Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, et al. Vs. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et al., on 2 January 2007, was re-decided by the Supreme Court on 11 February 2009. In deciding this second challenge, Court 9-4 (with two judges who inhibit) ruled that “the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) concluded on February 10, 1998 between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States is in accordance with the Constitution … »