On 10 June 2021 the Philippines held another NWG meeting. The main agenda point was the need to strengthen SSR advocacy and mainstreaming in core security institutions as well as management and oversight agencies.
During the meeting there was a discussion about the continuous SSR process that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are undergoing. Six offices within these organisations sent one or multiple representatives to this national working group meeting.
During the meeting, the respective agencies updated each other on SSR progress. The AFP shared recent organisational changes that include renaming the AFP Human Rights Office to the Office of the Law on Armed Conflict to reflect its commitment to international humanitarian law, changes to the module on peace and development, and updates on the AFP Multi-sectoral Governance Council. The PNP shared updates on their own Multi-sectoral Governance Council, and the OPAPP shared updates on normalisation and DDR processes for ex-combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army and the Revolutionary Proletariat Army-Alex Bungcayao Brigade.
Ateneo de Manila University shared updates on two recent projects on SSR, including a new peacebuilding module and an SSR Experts group. The other institutions support this, and asked for the inclusion of the Department of National Defence and Interior and Local Government, the Phil. Public Safety College, civil society, and the National Defence College of the Philippines. The next step for the Philippine working group is to approach these institutions, as well as the Chief PNP and the Chief of Staff of the AFP. Alongside this, the NWG plans to document all SSR efforts undertaken in the Philippines more systematically.