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3rd Katipunan Conference: The Philippine Strategic Outlook 2018-2019

From February 27-28, 2017, the Strategic Studies Program (SSP) of the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) and the Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea (IMLOS) organized the 3rd Katipunan Conference with theme “The Philippine Strategic Outlook: 2018-2019” at Law Center, Bocobo Hall, Osmena Avenua, UP Diliman, Quezon City 1101. The conference focusing on strategic studies was attended by more than 200 participants representing the diplomatic community, government, academe, students, security sector, and other members of the Philippine strategic community. The Katipunan Conference aims to gather eminent security experts, scholars, and practitioners to discuss and analyze pressing strategic issues facing the Philippines.

The keynote address was delivered by National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes G. Esperon, Jr. He highlighted the importance of strategic analysis and appreciation of the global and regional strategic environments surrounding the Philippines. He also identified the “hedging strategy” of the Duterte administration in its pursuit of a more independent foreign and security policy through the pursuit of new strategic partnerships with China, Russia, and India while maintaining old alliances with the US and others. He also announced a proposed bill to create a research fund called “Science for Change” that aims to provide support for research dealing with national and human security.

The conference featured four panels examining the Philippine strategic, domestic, and regional environment. Speakers include academic experts on strategic studies, government officials, and representatives from the military and the private sector. Specific topics include ICT (Information and Communications Technology), climate change, regional security architecture, political stability, economic sustainability, and maritime issues. The final panel of the conference focused on forecasting the immediate direction and prospect of the Philippines strategic environment, where national capacity building was prominently discussed.

The Katipunan Conference is an annual strategic studies conference launched in 2015 as a platform for discussing current and emerging issues that impact the Philippine foreign policy and undertake a strategic scan of the international environment from multiple perspectives to produce practical and informed policy opinions and decision-making aids for government agencies and officials. It also is a venue where scholars and practitioners can engage in meaningful dialogue about pressing strategic issues facing the country.