THE next administration should strengthen the country’s external security by coming up with a national security strategy amid its territorial dispute with China over West Philippine Sea, an independent strategic and international research organization said.
The recommendation was aired by ADR Institute (ADRi), an independent strategic and international research organization during the launch of its book “Thinking Beyond Politics” in Makati City on Friday.
According to Prof. Renato de Castro, one of the authors of the book and an expert on national security, said the next administration should focus on external security.
“We cannot simply always focus on the domestic. The primary security concern is out there in our maritime domain that will affect not only certain sectors of our society but the entire Filipino nation,” de Castro said.
He said the country lacks a national security strategy that addresses national security challenges.
De Castro said that the Aquino administration came out with a national security policy but it does not include a strategy.
“We don’t have a national security strategy. I think one of the legacies of this
administration is that it was able to come up with a national security policy, but it does not provide for strategy,” he said.
He explained that there is a difference between a policy and a strategy.
“The policy basically tells this is the environment, the external, internal but we don’t have the means of how we would have to address these national security challenges that we are facing right now,” he added.
Thus, it is important for the next administration to come up with a national security strategy “that would basically tell us what are the national security challenges we are facing in the 21st century.”
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario said the country’s foreign policy must be independent, principled and must adhere to the rule of law.
“We hope that the next administration will adopt that thrust. We hope that the next administration will consider what we have done,” del Rosario told reporters.
The book, he said, aims to provide the new administration guidance on the country’s foreign policy, national security, local governance, policy directions for governance reforms, trade and investment and Philippine growth, national economy, energy security mix and advancing sustainable resource management.
ADRi president Dindo Manhit said their mission in the Institute has been to nurture and advocate policy agendas and citizen-led reform initiatives towards the pursuit of strategic regional balancing and a development-oriented system of governance that is just, responsive, transparent and accountable.
“This body of work will form the foundation of the Institute’s advocacy in the next government. Whoever is elected, whoever gets appointed, our mission will be to transform this compilation of advice into polices into laws,” he said.
He said the project was a series of multi-sectoral forums that sought the opinions of the country’s most respected experts and stakeholders in a variety of fields.
“We sat down and zoomed in on strategic issues and recommendations that the Institute and its network of influencers would advocate as a strategic agenda for National Development for the next administration,” he said.