MANILA --- The Department of National Defense (DND) is now collaborating with more countries in the Asia-Pacific region while maintaining relations with its long-standing allies.
"To broaden our international defense and security engagements and in relation to the directive of the President to establish an independent foreign policy, the DND collaborates with more countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, while maintaining our long-standing relation with traditional allies," DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
The Philippines has successfully hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM)-Plus last October.
Lorenzana said this is in connection with the country's ASEAN chairmanship this year.
The National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) also hosted two international conferences such as the 1st ASEAN Regional Forum Heads of Defense Universities, Colleges, Institutions Meeting, and the 10th Track II Network of ASEAN Defense and Security Institutions Meeting.
In line with these efforts, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) has also organized the ASEAN Joint Task Group on Emergency Preparednesss and Response Under the Committee on Security, Peace and Order, and Emergency Preparedness to Ensure the successful hosting of the ASEAN meetings in the Philippines.
"Moreover, to immediately address security issues particularly on terrorism in the maritime areas of concern, a Framework on Trilateral Cooperative Arrangements among the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia was signed last July 2016 and was launched in June of this year," Lorenzana added.
"This program was started by Secretary (Voltaire) Gazmin together with the Defense Chiefs of Indonesia and Malaysia, we have also formally launched the Joint Trilateral Air Patrol last October 12 of this year at Royal Malaysian Air Force, Subang Air Base in Malaysia," he further stressed. (PNA)