Saturday, February 2, 2008

Crafting the ‘Normalcy’ of the Philippine Foreign Policy

by: Ernesto C. Casiple Jr. & John Michael P. Castino

The Philippines has not escaped from the conduct of foreign relations. In fact, it is impossible for the country to settle in isolation for its political history did not permit such. Having been exposed to the complex world politics (colonialism in particular), the Philippine foreign policy remains an ambitious adherence to national integrity.

As a general understanding, Philippine foreign policy is always profoundly guided in seeking and serving national interest and security may it be military or economic. Because the country could not get rid of foreign intervention, it is necessary for her to create bilateral, regional, and multilateral relations with other states. Explicitly, the country’s membership to the UN and other regional organizations also requires it to get involved in the dynamics and processes of international relations. More so, the United States of America has been special player in shaping the direction of Philippines’ global affairs.

This is the ‘normalcy’ of the Philippine foreign policy. But this is not just the basic understanding of any state as it undergoes politics of change. This is not just about the emergence, the stability, and the decay of relations. Thus, we are crafting the normalcy of Philippine foreign policy at the assumption that its orientation and roles has not significantly changed for the last fifty (50) years.

Allow us to recall some specific instances in the country’s external affairs. Manuel L. Roxas, for example, stated that his foreign policy was anchored on the commitment to the United Nations, continued ties with the US, maintenance of friendly relations with other states, and devotion to world peace1. Consequently, the foreign policy of the Philippines did not arrive to any critical change in the general sense. Although on the other hand, the ‘Asia for Asian Policy’ during the Magsaysay administration became a controversy because of the prevailing non-recognition of the government on communist China. The rhetoric of President Magsaysay on stating that his administration is recognizing the right of self-determination and independence of all Asian

countries cleared the gray issue that time. Carlos P. Garcia, on the other hand, has recourse to bilateral and multilateral defense mechanisms for external security, among other goals. Finally, the anti-communist role was only lifted up during the dictatorial years of President Ferdinand E. Marcos upon the recognition of the participation of communist China in world affairs.

Meanwhile, Corazon Aquino focused on the restructuring of internal democracy but the issue on the United Nation Convention on the Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS) with the inclusion of the ‘principle of archipelagic state’ was a significant impact for the state’s international territorial rights and claims, thus, boosting its territorial integrity from external conflicts.

All in all, including the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos and the resigned President Joseph E. Estrada, the normalcy of Philippine foreign relations is on maintaining and preserving national security; expanding military relations; maintaining ties with the US, regional and international organizations, and other countries and helping the UN in the attainment of world peace.

Using the above background statements, this paper aims to identify the continuing normalcy that the Philippines is experiencing. It will comprehensively focus its discussion on the conduct of external relations under the Gloria Macapagal Administration when it finished the term of the resigned President Estrada from 2001-2003. The paper will present the foreign policy orientation, national roles, and general policy actions while it will first identify the goals and objectives of the Philippine foreign affairs during the PGMA Administration. It will also present a special report on the controversial Balikatan Exercises as well as draw and forecast the future of the Philippine foreign policy. Finally, the paper will ambitiously conceptualize a unique model or paradigm in treating a country’s foreign relations of which the researchers will call ‘the normalcy syndrome.’


As the former Vice-President of the resigned President Joseph Ejercito-Estrada, the writers of this paper assumed continuity, rather than change, of the foreign policy undertakings of Estrada Administration. Thus, the main pillars of the foreign policy of Estrada are treated as the foundation of PGMA’s foreign policy.

The report of the Department of Foreign Affairs on 20002 can be summarized as to the following pillars:
to safeguard national security where matters directly concerning national security are non-negotiable;
economic and development cooperation with partner countries have enabled the Philippines to obtain the resources to attain economic growth and sustainable development as keys to peace and stability within the country and the region;
to ensure that the right of Filipino migrant workers are respected in the workplace; and
foster ideals of peace, democracy, and respect for universal and fundamental human rights.

Later, when Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed the office of presidency, she announced the realities facing the Philippines3 now, as follows:
a. the paramount influence of China, Japan, and US in the security and economic evolution of East Asia;
b. the growing context of the ASEAN in global affairs;
c. the role of internal Islamic Community;
d. the looming importance of inter-regional organizations;
e. the protection of the environment, natural resources, and maritime territory;
f. the drive for foreign market and foreign investments in which Europe in also a major source ally with US, Japan, China, and ASEAN;
g. the importance of international tourism; and
h. the crucial roles of the overseas Filipinos in the socio-economic stability.

Thus, the GMA’s foreign policy pillars are simply as follows4:
national security;
promotion and protection of the rights of Filipino overseas; and
development diplomacy.

Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy, Lauro Baja, in his statement before the diplomatic corps in the Philippines (on 2001) spoke broadly about the certain things the Philippines will do… on what is seems to be our foreign policy thrust5 :
join the international counter-terrorist coalition and to work with the United Nations;
work closely with the United States on intelligence and security matters concerning terrorism;
make available Philippine air space and facilities once required as transit or staging points;
contribute logistical support in the form of surplus, medicine, and medical personnel;
to provide combat troops if there is an international call for such troops subject to the concurrence of the Philippine Congress; and
prevent the flow of funds to terrorist groups through the Philippines by passing and implementing the anti-money laundering law.

But to J. Apolinario Lozada Jr., this statement is more of specific actions rather than thrusts. Thus, on December 10, 2001, in his speech at the 25th Anniversary of the Philippine Foreign Service Institute he outlined the national objectives of our foreign policy6 as follows:
to sustain and increase our economic growth to enable us to spread not poverty but prosperity to the greatest number of people;
to promote the welfare of the Filipinos abroad and rally their support behind our effort to pole-vault the country into league of newly recovered economies; and
to enhance our growing roles and influence in the Asian-Pacific and in world affairs.

Similarly, the Department of Foreign Affairs7 strategic plan for 2001-2004 lay down the following visions:
to pursue bilateral, regional, and multilateral relations to advance the interests of the Philippines and the Filipinos;
to endeavor to promote regional and global cooperation in order to achieve peace, security, and stability; and
to work for social justice especially for the poor, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and democratic way of life in the global arena.

And in order to realize these visions, the “advancement of interest of the Philippines and the Filipino people”8 is a necessary mission.

Moreover, the strategize foreign policy objectives9 are as follows:

Key Political Strategy:
to contribute the enhancement of national security and protection of territorial integrity and national sovereignty;
to promote Philippine interest by working closely with other countries in addressing threats to national security and human rights; and
to assist national government in enhancing its defense capabilities.

Key Developmental Strategy:
to harness foreign relations in the active pursuit of sustainable development of growth with social equity through;
· trade, investment, and tourism promotion;
· external technological, scientific, and financial resources;
· education and human resource development; and
· advancing the human and economic security of the Filipino people through bilateral, regional, and multilateral social and economic mechanisms.

Key Cultural Strategy:
to promote Philippine culture for increased improved relations with other countries;
to encourage genuine partnership between civil societies of the Philippines; and
to promote national development concerns among Filipino overseas.

Key Consular, Labor, and Migration Strategy:
to protect the rights and promote the welfare of overseas Filipino overseas.

Key Public Information Strategy:
to project a positive image of the Philippines.

These are the statements to the foundation of the Philippine foreign policy which are guides for the government’s specific initiatives and/ or understanding outside the country. We are now to present a comprehensive survey of state’s foreign policy actions.

foreign policy actions

The above vision, mission, goals, objectives, thrusts, and the like are the guide of the GMA Administration in order to realize specific policy actions.

The Department of Foreign Affairs on its accomplishment report (2003) stated that “continuity and change have both characterized the Department (the country) approach on its conduct of foreign policy10. Of course, the Philippines, as a participant, in the new world order, is always challenge by a more dynamic economic and political environment. As previously stated, it cannot escape from the complexity of world relations.

General External Security Arrangements

The protection of the country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity remains the most important concerns. For the Philippines, national security is attained by working closely with other countries through different forms of external relations. “Peace and security are important components of national security. The government continued to seek a permanent solutions to the problem in the southern Philippines….11” To this, the government has sought the assistance of the outside parties. Between the MILF and the GRP, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) participated with other countries such as Malaysia and Libya. Meanwhile, Norway act as the host of the ongoing CPP-NPA (communist insurgency) peace talks with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

Philippines is still cooperative in regional and international groups such as ASEAN and its partners such as the APEC, to establish the condition of necessary peace and development.

In general, “the war against terror continues to be a major agendum of our foreign policy. The Philippines is actively engaged in counter-terrorism initiative and measures to ensure maritime security12.” In fact the Philippines has participated in the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ of 45 countries to bear the duty and share the honor of service in our common defense13. “The coalition of the willing is assembled by the US to topple down Saddam Hussein’s regime and assure Iraq’s stability”. To this aim, the Philippines send 51-member humanitarian contingent to Iraq14. The coalition is also formed to outrage the war against the weapons of mass destructions of Iraq (which was not proven in the large scale).

Other important external security measures of the Philippines are outlined in this manner:

State Visit of President Nursultan Nazarbagev of Kazakhstan was expected to boost support for the Philippines to gain observer status in the OIC;

Bangladesh, a member of the OIC Committee of the Eight, conveyed its full support for the Philippine government peace efforts on Muslim Mindanao and agreed to renew all existing agreements between the two countries and explore new avenues of cooperation specially education (when Foreign Minister Morshed Khad visited the Philippines on November 13-16, 2003;

Enhancement of the Philippine Indonesian relation especially between the southern Philippines and the Eastern Indonesia in terms of security and trade matters (when the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople visited North and South Sulawesi on May 1-3, 2004. Meanwhile, just recently on February 2, 2004, the Philippine tourists visiting Indonesia are exempted to pay for their new visa policy15 (apart from other nationals).

For Mindanao rehabilitation, the following actions were made:

1. Two of the projects under the 26th Yen Loan Package of Japan were signed on May 25, 2003. These are the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Social Fund for Peace and Development worth 2.47 Billion Yen and the Central Mindanao Road Project worth 3.71 Billion Yen;
2. Growth Equity in Mindanao (GEM), a USAID Project managed by the Philippine government through the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCO) that aims to accelerate economic growth in Mindanao focusing n enterprise development assistance for small and medium scale businesses and investors, infrastructures assistance for local government units and policy analysis, extended its operation by the GEM-2 Program that will end on 2007. The project will focus on the conflicting areas of Mindanao; and
3. Canadian International Development Agency funded a government nationwide Public Awareness Campaign on the Danger Small Arm and Light Weapons in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, the ASEAN remains to be an important ‘ingredient’ of Philippine foreign policy. The country participated in the 9th ASEAN Summit at Bali on October 7-8, 2003 where Bali Concord II was signed to identify the three pillars of ASEAN Community: ASEAN Economic Community; ASEAN Security Community; and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community16.

On ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), specifically the Philippines:
a. Actively participated in the inaugural ARF Inter-sessional Meeting on Counter-terrorism and Transnational crime on March 20-21, 2003 which produced the draft ARF Statement on Cooperative Counter-Terrorist Actions on Border Security and was subsequently adopted by the ARF Ministers on June 18, 2003 in Phnom Penh;
b. Joined the ARF in the fight against piracy and other threats to maritime security through the adoption of the ARF Statement on Cooperation Against Piracy and Other Threats to Maritime Security17.

To highlight the anti-terrorism campaign of the Philippines, it hosted the 23rd ASEAN Chief of National Police Conference (ASEANPOL) on September 10, 2003 which also included discussion on illegal drug trafficking, commercial crimes, bank offenses, credit card fraud, and transnational fraud.

On not of a lesser value, the country:
focused on the role of the ASEAN in the context regional security on the issue of the South China Sea (during the 14th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting held in Brussels in January;
viewed the tension in the Taiwan Straits as an immediate threat to peace and stability with the regime and expressed support for the One-China Policy and the Principle of Peaceful Reunification;
manifested its desire to intensify and deepen its relation with countries in the Southeast Asia particularly with India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh; and
expressed support for the continued international peace in East Timor, thus, sending six military personnel and 60 civilian police to East Timor and Kosovo, as an act of peace-keeping operation.

Furthermore, the special RP-US relations continued to exist. As a result of the US State Visit of PGMA in May 2003, US President George Bush designated the Philippines as a Major Non-NATO Ally. The visit also received amounts as defense and security assistance from US:
US $ 30M aid for counter terrorism and training of AFP;
US $30M developmental assistance to conflicting areas;
US $25M for training of engineering unit for humanitarian project in conflict areas;
US $47M support for Balikatan 03-1;
30 units of UH 1 H helicopters for military mobility; and
US $10M in Presidential draw Down Authority for equipment, spare parts, and maintenance.

To further its anti-terrorism initiatives as well as regional relations, the Philippines coordinated its commitment to the Security Trade in the APEC Region as a direction to counter terrorism. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation to Combat International Tension between the Philippines and Australia was signed by Sec. Blas Ople and Foreign Minister Alexander Down on March 4, 2003. The MOU was signed to increased cooperation between intelligence, security, law enforcement, and defense officials. Also, an RP-Australia MOU on Transnational Crimes was concluded on July 19, 2003.

The DFA has also has also obtained project proposals from the European Union consisting of one million euros: 1.) Policy Advice in Fight Against the Financing of Terrorism and 2.) Border Management.

Preservation of Territorial Integrity

The Philippines has always exerted efforts in promoting national sovereignty and territorial integrity especially that the country is an archipelago.

With the creation of the Bipartisan Executive Legislative Advisory Council on the Sabah Issue (BELACS), the DFA (the country in general) was able to traced pertinent records for the purpose of facilitating the formulation of the Philippine positions on the Sabah Issue18.

The Philippines hosted the High-Level Meeting of APEC officials on Capacity Building in Maritime Security on September 8-9, 200319 with the following objectives:
Information exchange in maritime security;
Strengthening private-public sector partnership;
Assessment of Technology requirement needs for APEC economy;
Addressing human capacity needs.

Moreover, the Philippines participated in the following decisions on maritime security20:
RP-Indonesia 1st Joint Permanent Working Group Meeting on Maritime and Ocean Concerns (JPWG-MOC) in Manila on December 1-5, 2003; and
RP-Socialist Republic of Vietnam Technical Working Group Meeting on Maritime and Ocean Concerns here in Manila on December 1-5, 2003.

Economic Development

The following are the highlights of the foreign policy efforts of the Philippines towards the end of 2003 for economic development21:
European Union adopted Council Resolution Number 975/2003 on January 5, 2003 which grant a most favored nation based tariff grant of 25,000 tons and tariff rates up to 12 percent of imports canned tuna by the lobbying of the Department of Foreign Affairs;
RP-US Cooperation in Science & Technology was signed on May 20, 2003 where the Philippines received US $1.1 billion GSP benefits for new RP products, an estimated $300,000 million for Remittance Facilitation Project, a US $ 500,000 worth of medical equipment for Veterans Memorial Center among others;
On August 2003, Philippines won approval for the Chinese State Council for a US $400 Million loan that will help finance the construction of the Phase I of the Northall project envisioned to integrate the provinces of Luzon with Manila and with key cities in Clark and Subic; and
Drafting of the Philippine-Egypt Agreement on Reciprocal Protection of Investment on May 23, 2003.

Promotion of the Welfares of the Filipino Abroad

Reaffirming the importance and contribution of our (Filipino) workers to the social and economic stability of the country, the department (of foreign affairs)has embarked on an even more proactive and progressive role in the protection of the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers22.

Here are some of the specific foreign policy actions by the DFA:
Repatriation of the remaining 23 seaman detained at UAE after being jailed for three years;
Processed a total of 60, 491 claims paid by the Philippine Compensation and Committee for the Gulf War worth US $ 153,000,000 from the UN-approved reparation (as of September 30, 2003; and
Formulation, creation, and implementation of RA 9189 or the Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) Act of 2003.

Strengthening of Special Phil-US Relations: The Balikatan and MLSA

Whether the influence of the USA placed the Philippines positively or negatively in the map, what is very obvious is the continuing ‘love affair’ of the two countries. The USA serves as the star of the Philippines’ darkest nights and as the penetrating sun in the dawn of its development.

Relations with the US remain the major aspect of the country’s foreign policy: the former colonial power remains the top military and economic partner. And the Balikatan Exercises and the Mutual Logistic Support Agreement or MLSA are latest examples of this special relation in the light of mutual security.

The Balikatan Series is an annual event (2001-2004) aimed at improving the RP-US combined planning, combat readiness, and interoperability while enhancing security relations and demonstrating US resolve to support the RP against external agression23. It is conducted to meet the RP-US obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty and to fulfill RP-US mutual training and readiness requirements. More specifically, it aims to dismantle the Abu Sayyaf.

The following shows the salient point of the joint military exercise from 2001 to 2004.
“Exercise BALIKATAN 2001 was held from 26 April to 10 May 2001 in the Republic of the Philippines (RP). RP and U.S. military personnel from all branches of service, working shoulder-to-shoulder in the heat and the rain, cross-trained in military operations such as air rescue, amphibious operations, close air support, small arms training, and staging support. They also built and renovated schools and provided much-needed dental, medical, and veterinary services for barangays near Clark International Airport. Barangays are basic Philippine political units for planning and implementing government policies, programs and activities in the community.
BALIKATAN 2001 provided joint/ combined training to improve combat readiness against an external attack on the Philippines, as covered by the1952 Mutual Defense Treaty between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States.
BALIKATAN was part of the Exercise TEAM CHALLENGE series. Designed as an umbrella exercise, TEAM CHALLENGE's goal is to improve combat readiness and interoperability by tying together joint combined exercises with Thailand, Philippines, Singapore and other interested countries. BALIKATAN 2001 incorporated TEAM CHALLENGE scenarios, such as training in peacekeeping, humanitarian and civic-assistance operations.
Balikatan 2001 was specifically designed to improve RP-US armed forces combat readiness in joint and combined operations, and interoperability between RP and US services through the exchange of training skills and techniques. Balikatan 2001 specifically serves as the base line concept and benchmark for future Balikatan exercises.
Balikatan 2001 was composed of eight major events and several support activities. These events are seminar/workshop, cross trainings, field training exercises and civil military operations. Support activities include command and control, force protection and security operations, information and public affairs, protocol, personnel, medical and evacuation, logistics, communications, legal, engineering and exercise related constructions, and liaison.
Balikatan 2001 was conducted within the constraint of the available resources of AFP and US, consistent with the provisions, intent and spirit of the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement. The conduct of Balikatan 2001 was approved by the RP-US Council of Foreign Ministers through the Mutual Defense Board Co-Chairmen, the CSAFP and USCINCPAC. For the year 2001, the exercise area was limited to the islands of Luzon and Palawan.
BALIKATAN 2001 began 26 April with formal ceremonies at the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at Camp Aguinaldo. Philippine Vice President and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teofisto Guingona welcomed the American forces with these words, "Our relationship with the United States is borne out of longtime friendship and partnership that remains steadfast ...over 100 years. We are committed to a new page in Philippine-American relations - one founded on equality and mutual respect. We want to share better experiences, so that we can promote a more meaningful peace in the years ahead."
Exercise events began 27 April. Participants in a combined joint seminar, held 27 April to 3 May, addressed crisis-action planning followed by a practical exercise. They focused on peacekeeping and noncombatant evacuation operations in conformity with the TEAM CHALLENGE concept. The various services of the two nations also began field training 27 April. The cross-training in various tactics, techniques and procedures represented the type of combined operations that would occur if the two nations were to work together in a contingency operation.
The United States has announced that the purpose of the Balikatan 2002 exercise is to improve the Philippines/US combined planning, combat readiness and interoperability. The exercise will also enhance security relations and demonstrate U.S. resolve to support the Philippines against external aggression and state sponsored terrorism through training in joint/combined operations and conduct of other related activities consistent with the Mutual Defense Treaty. 2002-2 is a regularly scheduled exercise that was planned well before September 11. Its scenario does not directly involve counter-terrorism, and it is unrelated to Balikatan 2002-1 in the southern part of the country.
Balikatan 2002-2 is the eighteenth in this series of exercises, which began in 1981.
Phase I of Balikatan 2002, a Combined Task Force seminar/command post exercise, will be conducted from April 22 through May 6, 2002. This will exercise a Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters Staff and augmentation personnel on crisis action planning and course of action execution at the operational level with a focus on peace enforcement operations. Phase II includes cross training, field training and humanitarian civil assistance exercises from April 22 through May 6, 2002. The cross training and field training portions will enhance the interoperability of U.S. Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP). The humanitarian civil assistance will improve U.S./AFP military civic action cooperation while training civil military operators to work together in a Combined Joint Task Force structure with a focus on civil assistance. They will conduct multiple medical, dental, veterinary and engineering civil assistance projects during this phase.
There are several humanitarian and civic assistance projects scheduled during 2002-2 by both Philippine and American forces. These include veterinary and dental teams providing free clinics, and engineering projects designed to improve the local infrastructure.
The exercise is held on the island of Luzon.
In July 2002 Manila agreed to host for nine months beginning in October 2002 joint military exercises involving what could be the biggest deployment of US troops since the Americans left their bases in Clark and Subic in 1991. The exercises, with eight battalions totaling 4,000 troops, in Luzon and Mindanao would be the biggest and longest to be undertaken by Filipino and American soldiers. The training of light reaction companies (LRCs) alone would take up to four months and three months for the battalions. An agreement covering the transfer and storage of supplies and weapons to be used during the war games or similar activities would be concluded before the start of the exercises. Maneuvers would likely be held in an army boot camp north of Manila as well as in the southern Philippines, possibly including the southern island of Jolo, an Abu Sayyaf stronghold.
More than 450 U.S. service members along with a variety of standard military cargo were offloaded at Subic Bay on April 17, 2003 to take part in Exercise Balikatan 2003. The personnel were transported from Okinawa, Japan, to here via the High Speed Vessel to make early arrangements before the exercise kicks off. The exercise is designed to better train Philippine and U.S. air, ground and naval forces to handle any contingencies, emergencies or disasters which may arise throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
The exercise is to be conducted in two simultaneous phases including a combined command post exercise on crisis planning and execution on an operational level focusing on peace enforcement operations. The second phase is to consist of cross-training, field-training, and humanitarian civil assistance exercises designed to enhance interoperability between Philippine and US forces.
Unlike Balikatan 2002-1, the 2003 exercise is in no way related to the ongoing counterterrorism training in the southern Philippines according to military officials.
The exercise officially began on April 17.
Exercise Balikatan 2004 is an annual exercise that runs through March 7, 2004 and is designed to improve combined planning, combat readiness and interoperability of the U.S. and Republic of the Philippine military forces and opportunity to hone their collective skills and cooperation.23”
But the joint military exercises did no escaped from negative feedbacks and criticisms. Example, the proposed Balikatan Exercises in Carmen, North Cotabato was criticized as it will only “exacerbate the peace” in the area24.
Another controversy in the foreign policy of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the promulgation of the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement or MLSA. “Leftist, professional Anti-Americans and politicians desperate for publicity speak against the RP-US MLSA25. Well, the MLSA was signed on November 22, 2002 at Camp Aguinaldo between the Philippine Department of Natioonal Defense and the US Department of Defense26.
Not to give more focus on the critical controversy of the agreement, the writers have digested the following as the salient points (intention) of the MLSA27:
a. To ensure that we (the Philippines) get the most value for the time, material, and expenses that go into increasing military and security cooperation;
b. To eliminate red tape in the government specially the military; and
c. To maximize respective comparative advantage (in military).
Meanwhile, “the MLSA can only come into play in conjunction with approved actions under the Mutual Defense Treaty or the Visiting Forces Agreement28”. Let it be clear that, this an agreement and not a treaty. The MLSA is not also covered by anti-bases provision of the Constitution29 but covered by Section 21 of Article VII.
In the United Nations
The RP is committed to global peace and as a founding member of the United Nations, abides by its charter and recognizes that the maintenance of international peace and security is a primary responsibility of the UN30.
The Philippines was successful in winning support for its bid for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council31.
Moreover, the Philippines: (a.) reaffirms the primary responsibility of the Security Council under Chapter VI of the Charter and the role of regional organizations under Chapter VIII in the maintenance of international peace and security ; (In honoring its obligations, the Philippines participate in several peace initiatives under the aegis of the United Nations) and (b.) recognizes that peace making, peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and peace building through the concept of multi-dimensional peace operations, remain as key and indispensable instruments for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Conclusion & The Future of Phil. Foreign Policy
From the Administration of Manuel Roxas to GMA , the Philippines has a fair record of promoting democracy in the global field . It will still remain the future goal of the country aside from national security and economic development. In these efforts, the foreign policy is still dominated by the regional issues concerning the countries in the South-East Asia (military and economic). Persistently, the Arroyo Administration has strengthened the need to protect its nationals (Filipino) abroad. It paves way of the thrust of the government to promote the welfares of Filipino abroad as important partners and tool for economic development.
The idea of a ‘strong republic’ is also founded on the use of bilateral, regional, and multilateral relations with other states. ASEAN, APEC, and other allied organizations are tools for the Philippines to at least strengthen its military and economics ties with other states amidst crisis in the country. Thus, more specifically, foreign relations in the future will hew even more closely relation with the ASEAN. Relations with other states are expected to stem from the ASEAN cooperation through the ASEAN Regional Forum. . Regional organizations are still vital agencies through which the aspirations of the government are attained.
The Philippines has still maintained friendly relations with other countries through bilateral and multilateral arrangements while the United States remain the partner of the country in security and military operations. The influence of the United States will not be set aside. Meanwhile, there is no way that the Philippines will be able to get rid of the ‘end of history and the last man’ as Francis Fukuyama puts it. Globalization will always make its own way to shape the country’s economic relations with other countries.
Special mention will be the growing impacts of the European Union that will expilicitly have some bearing to the country’s foreign relation. The Philippines has already started to be closer to the European community basically on economic relations.
In summary, the goal of foreign policy from 2001-2003 were:
a. enhancement of military security ;
b. utilization of developmental diplomacy;
c. promotion of the welfare of Filipinos abroad;
d. institutional development (economic security); and
e. public diplomacy.
In conclusion, the Philippines still maintain a ‘coalition-making/ alliance construction’ foreign policy orientation. It has continued to embrace independent and faithful ally national roles.
Finally, this will always be the ‘normalcy’ of the country’s foreign policy. Thus, it is appropriate to draw a model we will call normalcy syndrome. ‘Normalcy Syndrome’ is a condition where the state’s foreign policy orientation and national roles are unilinear; that it did not make any significant shift or change and where its objectives are restructured just to reaffirm and strengthen the previous goals and thrusts. The syndrome may either occur in bilateral, regional, and multilateral relations. In this concept, the foreign policy actions of the state do not generally affect its objectives although reforms are expected to take place.
Hence, the foreign policy of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
End Notes:
1. Domingo, Benjamin. The Re-making of Philippine Foreign Policy.
2. See “Annual Philippine Foreign Policy Overview for Diplomatic Corps” released by the DFA on January 12, 2001. Taken from
3. Evidence for the statements in this paragraph can be found in “The Annual Philippine Foreign Policy Overview for Diplomatic Corps” released by the DFA on January 17, 2002. (Taken from See also: “GMA Stresses 8-Point Realities in RP Foreign Policy Meeting with DFA Officials” released by Malacanang on July 7, 2002 ( Also read Julie Javellana-Santos, “New DFA Chief Spells Out Arroyo’s Foreign Policy (Arab News: Manila, 25 August 2004) taken from . Hon. J. Apolinario Lozado Jr. (Representative, 5th District of Negros Occidental) also included in his speech entitled “Phil. Foreign Policy in a World of Change” on February 27, 2002 at MSU Marawi and Iligan Cities (taken from
4. As interpreted by Hon. J. Apolinarion Lozada in speech entitled “Phil. Foreign Policy in a World of Change” on February 27, 2002 at MSU Marawi and Iligan Cities (taken from
5. ibid

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AIM-World Bank Mindanao Bridging Leaders Programmme (MBLP)

AIM-World Bank Mindanao Bridging Leaders Programmme (MBLP)
CLICK ON PIC FOR LINK: The overall objective of the program is to build a cadre of Bridging Leaders in Mindanao, who can address issues like peace, education, health, land conflicts, poverty, and poor local governance, among others. The MBLP is implemented by AIM Center for Bridging Leadership.

Bamboo Craft

Bamboo Craft
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