A National Security Strategy for the Philippines

Topics: National security, Security, Philippines Pages: 25 (7627 words) Published: March 13, 2011
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 since. A new national security policy or strategy, therefore, must integrate the roles of the economic, social, cultural and political dimensions in a comprehensive effort.

The National Security Strategy (NSS) 2010-2016 translates into specific terms the multi-dimensional provisions of the 1987 Constitution, as well as the vision for the nation as articulated by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, that apply to national security. The NSS covers a comprehensive layout of those interdependent facets of national life that impinge on national defense and security policy.

It provides the mechanism for the coordination of departments and agencies in addressing the multi-dimensional facets of national security. Also, it seeks to achieve common understanding of defense and security issues by providing the facility for consensus building and consultation processes. It fills a void left by the white paper, “Our National Security Strategy” , issued by then National Security Adviser Alexander P. Aguirre in September 1999 in behalf of President Joseph “Erap” Estrada, which was superseded by the events of January 2001. The said national security strategy document was supposed to be a basis for national security planning until 2004. Before that, there was also a formal national security planning framework under the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos. Subsequent to EDSA II, under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, there was a nine-year hiatus in the regular issuance of a national security policy or national security strategy document.

By setting the national security policies and strategy at the highest level, this document hopes not only to guide the efforts of all concerned government instrumentalities but also seeks to become a tool for communication with all stakeholders.



Undeniably, the trend among nations worldwide is increased interconnectivity of political, economic and cultural structures....
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