The post-Cold War era ushered in an environment of increasingly open borders in which internal and external aspects of security are inextricably linked amidst global competition between nations. Trade and investment flows, the rapid innovations in technology, and the spread of democratic ideals brought freedom and prosperity to many populations, but these also gave rise to new security issues. Mounting frustration and injustice complicated by escalation in terrorist activities, piracy, smuggling, and other transnational crimes eventually resulted in more and more instability.
In this volatile landscape, the role of safeguarding the country’s sovereignty and maintaining territorial integrity can no longer be the responsibility of the state alone. As the government calls upon all sectors of society to work hand in hand in crafting the Philippines’ National Security Policy, a whole-of-nation approach is indeed the only way to meet the challenges of domestic, regional, and global security issues.
On December 6, 2022, the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and the Business for Sustainable Development (BSD) held the first Role of the Private Sector in National Security forum at the Institute for business owners and individuals to discuss their respective roles in protecting the state from internal and external threats. Hosted by the AIM Ramon V. del Rosario, Sr. Center for Corporate Responsibility, representatives from government and the private sector came together to pledge support and uphold their responsibilities as stakeholders of the nation’s national security.
Dr. Benjamin “Chippy” Espiritu, Chairman of Banco de Mindoro, Inc. and President of both the National Defense College of the Philippines Alumni Association, Inc. and Risks, Opportunities Assessment and Management, Inc., and himself a reservist of the Philippine Marine Corps with the rank of Brigadier General, served as moderator of the forum.
Along with Dr. Espiritu, the Institute welcomed Dr. Clarita Carlos, the Philippine National Security Adviser at the time, to speak about the dichotomous, but ultimately symbiotic relationship of the government and business sectors in ensuring a stable environment for the nation’s citizens. Dr. Carlos stated “It is the private sector which generates value. The government regulates. The government does not operate.” Along with discussing the roles of both the government and private sector, Dr. Carlos also listed the critical endpoints of national security, which businesses and the government must uphold. These are protecting critical infrastructure, developing the economy, ensuring food security, and securing our digital footprint against cyberattacks. Both Dr. Espiritu and Dr. Carlos moderated the discussion among prominent business and government figures.
The talk was lauded by Calixto “Toti” Chikiamco, President of the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF), praising the moderators for inviting the private sector to take part in protecting national security. Mr. Roderick F. De Castro, BSD’s Executive Director, gave the closing remarks as he thanked the attendees for their cooperation and valuable input during the event.
The next forum in the consultation series will feature Department of National Defense (DND) Officer-in-Charge and Senior Undersecretary as well as AIM Bridging Leaders Fellow, Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. The DND plays a crucial role in maintaining national stability amidst the uncertain and turbulent global and regional political landscape. The second forum to be held on Tuesday, 21 February 2023 at the AIM Campus and virtually via Zoom, presents an exclusive opportunity for participants to engage DND OIC and USec. Galvez as he shares his plans and vision for the country’s national security policy.
Register here (https://bit.ly/3RQaYYg)