Philippines Takes Part in Seoul Defense Dialogue

Defense planning constraints are not merely about financial resources, the very context where planning activities are undertaken should likewise be considered. This was stressed by Undersecretary of National Defense Honorio S. Azcueta. Speaking at the 2nd Seoul Defense Dialogue on November 13, USEC Azcueta discussed the context of defense planning in the Philippines emphasizing that the Philippine Constitution mandates that allocation for education is always the biggest, a manifestation of the Philippines’ thrust to invest on building the capacity of its people. As a developing country, the 1% of GDP defense budget for the Philippines remains modest compared to its neighbors.

Following the inaugural SDD in 2012, this year’s dialogue organized by the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of National Defense saw more delegations participating totaling to 23 to include regional organizations such as the Organization of Security Cooperation in Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Academics and subject matter experts also participated, serving as moderators and discussants in the various sessions where national delegates shared their views on various topics to include peace and security in the Northeast Asia, global non-proliferation, governance and future directions of international rule in regard to cyber security and defense planning amidst budgetary constraints.

Also held prior to the main dialogue was a meeting of the cyber security working group which was proposed to be organized during last year’s SDD where working level officials from 15 countries specializing on cyber security discussed and explored the viability, challenges and prospects of organizing the said working group.

At the sidelines of the SDD, USEC Azcueta met with fellow vice-ministers where the support of their respective governments and contributions to the on-going rescue and relief operations resulting from Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) was conveyed by the Philippines’ friends and partners. The conveyed contributions have been confirmed to have arrived in the Philippines.