MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has formed a Presidential Situation Room (PSR) where he and other top officials will meet to tackle emergencies involving national security.
Aquino signed on September 17 Administrative Order (AO) No. 2, which was released to the public on Wednesday.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda earlier said that construction of a situation room was one of the concrete proposals of National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia after the August 23 Manila hostage crisis.
The PSR will serve as a National Crisis Management Operations Center during emergencies.
The other functions of the national “war room” are:
- Monitor events, situations and developments that have national security implications, including those with serious diplomatic, political, and peace and order ramifications;
- Provide current intelligence and crisis support to the President, the Executive Secretary, the National Security Adviser and the Secretary of the Presidential Management Staff;
- Serve as the primary monitoring, coordination and communications center in Malacañang on classified information;
- Coordinate the collection, verification and evaluation of highly sensitive information bearing on national security;
- Establish linkages and coordinates with the various operations centers of civil and security agencies of government;
“As Executive Chief and Commander-in-Chief, the President should always have timely and full access to adequate and accurate information and analysis on all events and incidents affecting national interest and security,” AO No. 2 stated.
“It is imperative that all government efforts and activities pertaining to crisis situation management be promptly and appropriately coordinated, harmonized and synchronized,” the order added.
“There is a need to appropriately establish a site to allow the President seamless access to pertinent information,” and boost his ability to act on issue or incidents involving national interest and security, the order said.
Garcia will head the facility, which will have an initial budget of P5.5 million for office equipment and staff.
He will have under his command the intelligence units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, and representatives from the President's Communications Group.
Other government agencies may also be required to provide manpower and information support to the facility. – Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News