It's not true that there is no presence of US Troops in the Philippines. For example, there are "advisors" on the ground helping defend Marawi against Islamic extremists. This initiative was under the Trump administration.
“They are also not engaged in battles, but in case their defenses are breached they are allowed to protect themselves,” he said. The Americans are carrying rifles, he said.
The American presence in Marawi is complicated, and not just because of the possibility that United States troops could get drawn into battle.
The Philippine Constitution prohibits the presence of foreign combat troops, and President Rodrigo Duterte, who has frequently sparred with the United States, a military ally, has threatened to eject American forces from his country.
And in January of 2017 it was announced
MANILA (Reuters) - The United States will upgrade and build facilities on Philippine military bases this year, Manila's defense minister said on Thursday, bolstering an alliance strained by President Rodrigo Duterte's opposition to a U.S. troop presence.
The Pentagon gave the green light to start the work as part of an Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), a 2014 pact that Duterte has threatened to scrap during barrages of hostility towards the former colonial power.
Given the dynamic of Duerte and his opposition to troops, it's worthwhile to read both articles in full, as the relationship is complicated, and often contradictory, and sometimes the Philippine military does things not in clear sight of all.
This build up of troops and base building began under Obama to counter some of the Chinese aggression mentioned in the OP.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday that U.S. troops and military equipment would be sent on regular rotations in the Philippines and that the two countries had started joint patrols in the South China Sea as China increasingly asserts its territorial claims.
The initiatives are designed so that the United States does not increase its permanent footprint in its former colony, but they demonstrate that the two countries are increasing security cooperation amid joint concerns over China’s actions in the region’s disputed waterways.
Countries across the region have expressed concern over China’s activities, but the broader American military presence was not meant to provoke conflict with the Chinese, Carter said.
“There will be a regular, periodic presence here of American forces,” Carter said at a news briefing in Manila with Philippine Defence Minister Voltaire Gazmin. “The things that we’re doing here are part of a pattern that goes back decades. They’re by the invitation of an alliance partner.”