2015 Kicks Off with a Strategic Planning Workshop

The year 2015 kicks off with a strategic planning workshop involving Defense and Armed Forces Attaches (DAFAs) and Liaison Officers (LOs) posted in various defense partners of the Philippines. Secretary of National Defense Voltaire T. Gazmin opened the workshop and emphasized the idea that DAFAs and LOs are part of the Philippine Team. Secretary Gazmin stressed that “We should be ready to work closely with our foreign affairs colleagues in pursuing the Philippine agenda in the same manner that our foreign affairs colleagues assist us in promoting our relations with our defense partners. Good defense relations follow from and contribute to good foreign relations.”

Officials from the DND, Department of Foreign Affairs, National Security Council, and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process provided the DAFAs and LOs with updates on various key issues and programs. This is to ensure that their engagements with Philippine defense partners are in accordance with the country’s foreign, national security and defense policies. DAFAs and LOs do not only provide the link between the Philippines and the countries they are posted; they are also the first engagers. Consequently, the PhilDAFAs and LOs had the opportunity to query the national government officials.

But beyond getting updates, the workshop also provided a platform for PhilDAFAs and LOs to craft their common and individual engagement plans while identifying the various challenges and opportunities in their respective posts. Recommendations in regard to a rational approach in opening and closing DAFA and LO posts abroad have likewise been drawn.

Organized by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessment with the support of the AFP’s Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (OJ2) and Intelligence Service, AFP, the workshop brought together all the currently posted and soon to be posted Philippine DAFAs and LOs.