Roundtable Discussion on Conceptualizing National Interests

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Sustaining the academic and policy discourse on issues affecting Philippine national security and cascading the Office of the Cabinet Secretary’s initiative to increase awareness and disseminate information on Philippine national interests, the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) organized a Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on “Conceptualizing National Interests” last 10 November 2016, 1:30 PM – 6:00 PM at the NDCP Honor Hall, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City

The RTD featured the lectures of Former DILG Secretary Rafael Alunan, UP Asian Centre Professor Aileen Baviera, Former NSC Secretary Roilo Golez, NSC Undersecretary Vicente Agdamag, Former DND Secretary Orlando Mercado, and Former GPH Chief Negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer.

Together with a total of 130 representatives from the civilian government agencies, military, academe, civil society, and the private sector, they shared an enriching discussion on the national security and development agenda of the Philippine Government; the scope and depth of articulating Philippine national interests; and the basis for identifying and prioritizing Philippine national interests.

During Session I of the said RTD, Secretary Alunan explained that it is important for the Armed Forces of the Philippines to upgrade its capabilities based on a national security strategy that flows from our national interests. On the other hand, Dr Baviera shared that Philippine national interests must encompass domestic and foreign policy concerns.

During Session II of the RTD, Secretary Golez underscored that it should be the national interest of the Philippines to prevent China from occupying the West Philippine Sea in a substantial way. Secretary Mercado, on the other hand, noted that the Philippines must have strategic goals which include sustainable economic development, protection of terrestrial and marine resources, and development of human resources.

In his lecture, Usec Agdamag noted that the National Security Policy of the Government for 2017-2022 provides for the ends, ways, and means of promoting national security. Meanwhile, Prof Ferrer highlighted that the national security end goals of the Government must include the promotion of the rule of law and ending impunity, nonproliferation of weapons, comprehensive peace building and counterterrorism approaches, and security sector reform.

By DRO Christian Vicedo