10 March 2021
Despite the different approaches, all FSPs are guided by the three pillars of the Philippine foreign policy: preservation and enhancement of national security, promotion and attainment of economic security, and protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare and interest of Filipinos overseas.6 The succeeding paragraphs review the Department’s initial response to the COVID-19 crisis, with a. [...] During the inaugural meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group on Public Health Emergencies on 31 March 2020, Assistant Secretary Junever Mahilum-West shared the country’s COVID-19-related efforts and recommendations on strengthening the regional bloc’s response to the current pandemic.10 The DFA likewise participated in both ASEAN-China and ASEAN-US videoconference meetings.11 The D. [...] This is exemplified in the support provided by the DFA in the procurement of 1 million Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sets from China.14 The DFA is also part of the team negotiating with pharmaceutical companies in Russia, China, and US on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine.15 FSPs are similarly tasked to assist the Philippine government in identifying new trade partners and in continuously. [...] Evidently, the current pandemic demonstrates the need for a coordinated response at the global level to effectively combat the spread and flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases. [...] Katigbak is a Foreign Affairs Research The views expressed in this publication are of the author Specialist with the Center for International Relations and alone and do not reflect the official position of the Foreign Strategic Studies of the Foreign Service Institute.