A National Security Strategy for the Philippines

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RP-NSS FOR 2010-2016


17 September 2010

Republic of the Philippines


The common experience among nations upon becoming sovereign states is the immediate launching of a collective effort to craft a comprehensive national security plan. The experience of the Philippines upon becoming a sovereign nation on 04 July 1946 did not fit this model. Instead, we chose to continue adopting for 75 years Commonwealth Act Number 1 or National Defense Act that was enacted in 1935.

The American-sponsored Bill No. 102 providing for the defense of the Philippines was drafted and subsequently passed by the Philippine Assembly on December 20, 1935, and signed into law by President of the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines, Manuel Quezon, on December 21, 1935. This became Commonwealth Act Number 1 otherwise known as the National Defense Act of 1935. This Act provided the legal basis for contingency planning for the defense of the Philippines.

Growing out of World War II and the Commonwealth era the Filipino nation became an independent Republic. The scope of the National Defense Act of 1935, therefore, became inadequate the moment we became a sovereign nation and became increasingly so as we continued to mature.

The body of literature on national security points to the fact that it is a complex and multidimensional entity. It must be based on the national principles embodied in the Constitution. In the same manner, it must also adapt to a fast-changing security environment. National security and defense planning that was first triggered by the National Defense Act of 1935, was based on the 1935 Constitution, and all succeeding security and defense planning and implementation activities thereafter have grown from it -- to the 1973 Constitution, and on to the 1987 Constitution – and all Presidential decrees and executive orders between them...
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