New Aquino defense policy to provide direction for PH PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 November 2010 00:00

In line with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s efforts to ensure the country’s peace and stability, the Department of National Defense (DND) will sustain efforts to strengthen its institutional capacity to effectively carry out its role in addressing internal security, disaster management and response; humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping; international defense and security cooperation; and support to national development.

The DND recently came out with its defense policy paper entitled, “The Department of National Defense: Meeting the Challenges to Philippines Defense and Security,” which will provide the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the civilian bureaus of the DND the direction on which to anchor their programs.

At the same time, the policy paper aims to communicate to the public the various thrusts of the department; how the DND intends to engage in regional and global affairs, and utilize their resources in a judicious and accountable manner.

Under its major policy thrusts, the DND said it needs to further enhance the capability of the AFP; modernize the government arsenal; strengthen the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD); further develop the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP); utilize the reserve force to complement the AFP and OCD particularly in relief and rescue operation; ensure the welfare of veterans; and work closely with local government units (LGUs) and cultivate partnership with the private sector.

Aside from its policy thrusts, the DND will also actively engage with the regional and global defense establishments to further develop its capability, pursue greater cooperation with regional states and other strategic partners, contribute to the strengthening of regional and global institutions, and address terrorism and other transnational security challenges.

Defense budget proposals under the DND-issued Defense Planning Guidance will also provide a rational and coherent framework for defense spending through a judicious and optimal allocation of resources for priority areas such as maintenance, training and operations.

Last Oct. 12, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin presented the DND defense policy paper during the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus held in Hanoi, Vietnam where Defense Ministers shared their views on pressing regional security concerns and discussed the direction of future practical cooperation.

The ADMM-Plus summit was held to enhance cooperation between ASEAN and its eight dialogue partners -- Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States -- in the areas of maritime security, terrorism, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and military medicine.

“Through this Defense Policy Paper, the DND hopes to contribute in building confidence and trust among countries in the region. Most importantly, it could contribute in cultivating partnership with other stakeholders in the Philippines. After all, the security and defense of the Philippines is not simply a concern of the Department of National Defense but of the entire Filipino nation,” Gazmin said.