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DND Organizes ARF Security Policy Conference

Beyond exchanging views on defense and security challenges, the ASEAN Regional Forum Security Policy Conference (ASPC) this year focused on the matter of reserve forces, a first in the 14 years of the forum since it first convened in 2004. 

Likewise discussed was the regional security architecture. Organized by the Department of National Defense, this ASPC held last June 29 likewise brought in subject matter experts from the University of the Philippines.

Dr. Ricardo Jose explained how Philippine reserve forces evolved while Prof. Herman Kraft shared his observations on how the security-related meetings have proliferated within the Asia-Pacific region, thus the need to streamline. This validates the DND's thrust to rationalize defense-related activities and meetings, a quest it intends to pursue as it chairs ASEAN's defense sectoral body this year.

Country discussants likewise shared their respective experiences in developing and utilizing their reserve forces. Those that spoke on the regional security architecture shared the DND's sense to have minimun but productive defense engagements within the ambit of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). 

The exchange of views, as always, provided defense officials, including those from the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), to share their perspectives on regional security challenges. This hopefully enabled the participants to have a better understanding of where a particular country is coming from and thus contributed to building confidence, a primary thrust of the ARF.

No less than the Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana graced the farewell dinner for the participants where he emphasized that it is imperative to ensure that defense cooperation platforms are rationalized to ensure that efforts do not duplicate each other and that various initiatives complement one another. 

Defense Undersecretary for Policy Ricardo David chaired this year's ASPC. Included in the Philippine delegation are Defense Assistant Secretary for Assessments and Internal Affairs Raymund Jose Quilop, DND Director Marita Yoro, National Security Council Assistant Director General Minette Acuna and Foreign Affairs Director Ed Badajos.
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