Evolving security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as various geopolitical shifts, have continued to push states to reformulate their foreign and security policies. Due to its growing strategic and economic importance, the vast waters within the region have become an important factor in the complex security architecture of the Indo-Pacific. Over the years, maritime security challenges have also become a primary security concern, highlighting the relevance of multilateral cooperation and strategic partnerships among states.
As an archipelagic state, the Philippines continues to confront maritime security challenges within its territory, particularly the expansionist agenda and gray zone operations of China in the West Philippine Sea. Several diplomatic protests against these actions have been filed by the Philippine Government; however, China still continues to reject the 2016 arbitral victory and illegally expand its military presence in the country’s maritime space. Given this, there is a need to realign and update the country’s current policies to address these security challenges effectively. In this context, the upcoming national elections in May 2022 signals a potential shift in the country’s foreign and security policy.
The next set of Filipino leaders must have a clear and strategic policy direction especially in the context of updating the country’s National Security Strategy. Considering the evolving regional security architecture and China’s aggressive behavior, the Philippines must be able to establish a stronger and more credible maritime defense and security posture. Fostering communication and cooperation among like-minded states and various sectors within and outside the Philippines is needed to strengthen the country’s security and advance its strategic interests. The next President of the Philippines must uphold the country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as prioritize the development of a long-term security program that will efficiently modernize military forces as well as strengthen the country’s alliances and partnerships.
Given these developments, the Stratbase ADR Institute has organized a virtual international conference entitled “Rethinking Philippine National Security Strategy towards a Stronger Maritime Defense and Security Posture” as part of its 2022 Foreign Policy Forum: Indo-Pacific Discussion Series, where experts and thought leaders will present and discuss their studies and policy recommendations on the future of the country’s national security strategy, particularly in the area of maritime security. Through this event, the Institute aims to shape and contribute to the growing discussions on the national election and the importance of advancing the country’s national and security interests.
Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit
President, Stratbase ADR Institute
Key Developments in the West Philippines Sea in 2021
Ms. Liz Derr
Founder and CEO, Simularity
Stratbase ADRi Strategic Agenda for the Next President : A National Security Strategy (NSS) for the 17th Philippine President: The Case for A Limited Balancing Strategy
Dr. Renato de Castro
Trustee and Program Convenor, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Professor, International Studies Department, De La Salle University – Manila
Stratbase ADRi Strategic Agenda for the Next President: The Great Cauldron: China, US, and the New Cold War in the Indo-Pacific
Mr. Richard Heydarian
Non-Resident Fellow, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Professorial Chairholder in Geopolitics, Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Multilateralism and Strategic Partnerships in the Indo-Pacific Towards a Peaceful and Stable Region
Dr. Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby
Associate Professor, International Studies Department, De La Salle University
Justice Antonio Carpio
Former Senior Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines
Dr. Chester Cabalza
President and Founder, International Development and Security Cooperation