Press Release
May 12, 2015



Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, Ladies & Gentlemen:

Your Committee on National Defense and Security has the privilege to sponsor Senate Bill No. 2762, known as the Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA).

Mr. President, recent technological developments and the globalization of the world's economy and widespread international transactions have made our world a much smaller place, so they say. With the advent of the internet, global communication and networking have become possible and commonplace. Budget airlines have made international travel more accessible to millions of people worldwide. These developments, however, have also contributed to more security concerns between and among countries.

After the so-called 9/11 terror attack, the concept of terrorism has evolved to become more international and multinational in scope, more indiscriminate, targeting and/or creating fear in the heart of the world's civilian population. Further, with the height of globalization and the age of information, the reach and delivery systems for terror groups have also been enhanced and have expanded this reign of terror.

Terrorist networks have learned to take advantage of the global economic, information and telecommunications networks in pursuing their objectives. A classic example is the case of Abdul Qadeer Khan network. In February 2004, Pakistani scientist Abdul Khan and his associates admitted successfully exploiting gaps in the national export control systems in Pakistan and other major supplier States, and assisted countries, such as, Iran, North Korea, and Libya in acquiring a whole range of technology for nuclear weapons.[1] They did this through layers of companies that conducted seemingly insignificant transactions.[2]

Even the goods we use daily can be utilized in the development and production of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). There is possible danger posed by nuclear, radioactive, strategic and dual-use goods, materials and services. It is for this reason that more countries are recognizing their responsibilities with regard to nuclear security and, more generally, global security against the propagation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

There is a need for strategic trade control systems to facilitate and monitor transfers of strategic and dual-use goods and technologies. The term "dual-use goods and technologies" refer to goods and technologies which can be used both for peaceful means as well as to build WMD, such as chemicals which can be used to make either make-up, fertilizers or high explosives. There is a need to enable governments to simultaneously pursue the objectives of WMD non-proliferation and other economic objectives.

The adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 establishes "legally binding obligations on all UN Member States to have and enforce appropriate and effective measures against the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and their delivery systems."

The Philippines has consistently supported the objectives of this resolution. We recognize that global security against WMD is a primary responsibility of each country. However, while other countries in Asia and the Pacific were able to adopt appropriate pieces of legislation toward this end, our country was left behind. Although we have control, regulation, and licensing activities that deal with prohibited and regulated items, unfortunately, these activities are implemented by various government agencies. Moreover, we do not have a comprehensive system that covers the entire list of controlled items under multilateral export control regimes.

It is for this purpose that your Committee seeks the approval of this bill, which aims to establish a sound regulatory and organizational structure that will address both our need to pursue economic advancement in global trade and to strengthen our country's internal security.

Under this proposed measure, a National Strategic Goods List shall be created, which would describe with specificity the strategic goods subject to control and authorization. A permanent committee under National Security Council (NSC) will also be created and will be known as the NSC-Strategic Management Committee. This committee, complemented by various government agencies, would serve as the central authority on all matters relating to strategic trade management, particularly focusing on the country's international commitment towards the promotion of a secured and safe environment for trade in strategic goods.

Further, a Strategic Trade Management Office (STMO) will also be created to serve as the executive and technical agency of the national government to handle the national management systems for the trade in strategic goods. Among the relevant functions of this office include the following:

a. Implementation of the strategies, policies and guidelines formulated by the NSC-STMCom;

b. Establishment and maintenance of a comprehensive data-base information system on strategic goods and on persons engaged in the trade of strategic goods and the provision of related services;

c. Issuance or denial of issuance of authorizations for the trade of strategic goods and the provision of related services; and

d. Conduct of preliminary investigation into violations committed under this Act.

Any person who intends to engage in the export, import, transit, and transshipment of strategic goods, or the provision of related services shall be required to obtain an authorization from the STMO.

Without the proper legislation in place that would prevent proliferation of WMD, we risk the destruction of lives and properties and the security of our country should the same fall in the wrong hands. We also risk involving our country in terroristic acts and schemes through the transfer of materials across our borders.

Toward this end, and consistent with our foreign policy and national security interests, and in support of efforts to counter terrorism, control crime and safeguard public safety, your Committee urges this august body to support the immediate passage of this measure.

Thank you, Mr. President.


[1] . Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Preventing WMD Proliferation.
[2] Jones, S. 2006. Arms Control Association: Resolution 1540: Universalizing Export Control Standards? Retrieved from

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