Since the Republic of the Philippines gained its independence in 1946, the United States government has been represented in the Philippines by the U.S. Embassy in Manila. The Embassy exercises many different functions in its official representation to the Philippine government. These include political, administrative, economic, public diplomacy, and consular affairs managed under the Ambassador by counselors from the Department of State. The U.S. Agency for International Development manages bilateral development projects. Military affairs are handled by the Defense Attache’s office at the Embassy. The U.S. Veterans Administration has its only overseas office at the Embassy in Manila. This office takes care of veterans affairs for the many American and Filipino veterans residing in the Philippines.