Review and update the 1935 National Defense Act: Biazon
The existing National Defense Act, crafted in 1935, must be updated to address the currentrealities and demands of the time, a former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippinestoday stressed.“The National Defense Act, under Commonwealth Act No. 1, was based on the 1935constitution. A national security act must integrate the roles of the economic, social, cultural and political dimensions into the comprehensive effort of defense,” declared Muntinlupa City Rep.Rodolfo Biazon, author of HB No. 01.Biazon pointed out that the national principles governing the said dimensions as prescribed by the 1987 Constitution differ significantly from those of the 1935 Constitution.“The 1935 Constitution was a product of the experiences of a people who had just brokenout of four centuries of colonial rule. The 1987 Constitution is a reflection of the aspiration of anation that is still experiencing growing up pains and has only itself to rely on,” Biazonexplained.HB No. 01, entitled “An Act providing for the National Defense and Security of theRepublic of the Philippines and for other purposes,” translates into operational terms the multi-dimensional provisions of the 1987 Constitution that apply to national defense and security.“This bill also aims to redirect the links of the numerous enabling acts on national defenseand security from the National Defense Act of 1935 to the 1987 constitution,” Biazon added.Then Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon signed into law the National DefenseAct of 1935 contained in Commonwealth Act No. 01 which provided the legal basis for contingency planning for the defense of the Philippines under the aegis of War Plan Orange.The proposed National Defense and Security Act (NDSA), Biazon said, “is founded onseven basic security and defense policies from where the principles, processes, structures andcritical details cascade into four titles, 25 articles and 81 sections covering a comprehensivelayout of those interdependent facets of national life that impinge on national defense andsecurity policy.”HB No. 01 provides the mechanism for the coordination of departments and agencies inaddressing the multi-dimensional facet of national defense and security where the Cluster E of the Cabinet will be transformed into the National Command Authority which would have added powers than just an interim entity.Likewise, the Act seeks to achieve common understanding of defense and security issues by providing the facility for consensus building and consultation processes which is an Asianinnate value, Biazon pointed out.
NR # 3181BJULY 31, 2013