Ang VFA ay nilagdaan noong Pebrero 1998, sa ilalim ng termino ni Pangulong Fidel V. Ramos, at sinundan ng isang counterpart agreement noong Oktubre, tungkol sa mga tauhan ng Pilipinas na bibisita sa US. Ito ay agad napagtibay sa administrasyon ni Pangulong Joseph “Erap” Estrada, ang kahalili ni Ramos, at opisyal na ipinatupad noong Hunyo 1999 kasunod ng pagsang-ayon ng Philippine Senate. Meanwhile, Bagares argued that executive agreements based on the VFA “would have no leg to stand on” if the VFA were abolished. – with the reports of Sofia Tomacruz/ Rappler.com The agreement contains various procedural safeguards to protect due process rights and prohibit dual risks.  [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] The VFA also provides for a reciprocal or contrary agreement signed on 9 October 1998. This agreement applies to Filipino personnel temporarily sent to the United States.
The VFA provides for rules on the entry and exit of U.S. personnel to the Philippines, the transfer of military ships and aircraft, and the importation and export of equipment and goods related to the activities covered by the agreement. The Agreement on Enhanced Defence Cooperation (EDCA), signed in April 2014 under then-President Benigno Aquino III, aims to operationalize the VFA. Military activities authorized by the Philippines are also insinuated in the context of the VFA. The executive agreement provides for an increased military turnover of U.S. troops, aircraft and ships in the Philippines and allows them greater access to military bases in the country.