National Security Council (Philippines)

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National Security Council (NSC) is the Philippine President's principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials.


Commonwealth Act No. 1 is the original policy basis of the national security program of the Republic of the Philippines.[1][2]

The 1987 Constitution mandates civilian control of the military and establishes the president as commander in chief of the armed forces. The President also heads the National Security Council, ostensibly the policy-making and advisory body for matters connected with national defense. Former President Corazon Aquino reestablished the council in 1986 through an executive order that provided for a National Security Council director to advise the president on national security matters and for a National Security Council Secretariat. The council itself is composed of the president and at least nine others: the Vice President; the AFP chief of staff; National Security Council director; the Executive Secretary; and the Secretaries of Foreign Affairs, National Defense, Interior and Local Government, Justice, and Labor and Employment (called ministers before 1987). By the end of 1990, however, the National Security Council had only convened twice.[3]

Responsibility for national security was vested in the Department of National Defense. The principal functions of the department in 1991 were to defend the state against internal and external threats and, through the Philippine National Police, to maintain law and order. The Secretary of National Defense, by law a civilian, was charged with advising the president on defense matters and developing defense policy.

In 2002, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has won crucial backing from her cabinet and the Congress for the deployment of US soldiers in the country as part of the war on terrorism. The President convened a meeting of the country's National Security Council during that time, in a bid to pull wavering officials, including her vice-president into line and smooth over differences in her administration over the issue. Arroyo insisted her oppositions to marshal support for her stance to back a U.S.-led campaign against terrorism, not only to implement a unanimous UN Security Council resolution calling on U.N. members to bring the perpetrators to justice but also the Philippines' strategic alliance with the United States and to assist the global campaign to end the scourge of terrorism.

National Security Advisor (NSA) and Director-General serve as Chief of Staff and adviser for Special Concerns in National Security to the President. The NSA has a Cabinet rank in the government. The current Director-General is Hermogenes Esperon.


The NSC's function is to advise the President with respect to the integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies relating to the national security. It is also said that it serves as the President's principal arm for coordinating these policies among various government departments and agencies in matters involving the national security.

See also


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