Manila and Washington have agreed to establish a new, state-of-the-art Regional Counter-terrorism Training Center in the Philippines, the US Embassy announced on Thursday.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde and US Deputy Chief of Mission John Law signed a memorandum of understanding to construct and operate the center on the grounds of the PNP Academy in Silang, Cavite.

The US State Department secured P520 million ($10 million) in counter-terrorism partnership funds to establish and jointly operate the center with the PNP, the embassy said.

“Once constructed, the center will provide counter-terrorism training for law enforcement units and personnel from the Philippines and regional partner nations,” it added.

The PNP had requested the facility to provide enhanced regional counter-terrorism training.

“The establishment of this center reflects the US’ enduring commitment to support Philippine counter-terrorism efforts and work together to address threats to peace and security in the region,” the US Embassy said.

Concern over violent extremism has grown following suicide bomb attacks at the Jolo Cathedral in Sulu in January and an army camp in Indanan town, also in Sulu, in June.

The January attack was carried out by an Indonesia couple while the attack in June was the first confirmed case of a suicide bombing carried out by a Filipino. (