"Why spend for your education if you will not be working here, right?" Senator Pia Cayetano asked.
The military said eight improvised bombs were seized by the 6th Infantry Division during an operation in Pagalungan town in Maguindanao province.
The Philippine drug war continues to kill hundreds of Filipinos under Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Rodrigo Duterte's successor.
"Instead of benefiting the female workforce in general, it may have a negative effect on the economic and political stability of the country," Lascon said.
Former foreign affairs secretary Albert Del Rosario reiterated that the Philippines has the exclusive right to explore the West Philippine Sea.
EDCA allows U.S. access to Philippine bases for joint training, pre-positioning of equipment and building of facilities such as runways, fuel storage and military housing, but it is not a permanent presence.