DND, ICRC discuss areas for strengthened cooperation

October 27, 2023

October 26, 2023 (Quezon City) – Department of National Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. discussed disaster risk reduction, threat mitigation, peacebuilding, and humanitarian assistance with Mr. Johannes Bruwer, Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Delegation in the Philippines, during the latter’s courtesy call at the Department of National Defense (DND) on Thursday.

Secretary Teodoro underscored the cooperation between the Philippines and the ICRC in humanitarian actions and international humanitarian law that are significant to the Department and its bureaus. Mr. Bruwer expressed the ICRC’s continued commitment to aid the Philippine government in matters that may fall under its purview of humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of conflict.

Secretary Teodoro stated that in line with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to professionalize engagements and adopt more strategic mindsets in governance, the Department continues to value the ICRC as one of its partners.

The Defense Chief also highlighted the significant progress in the domestic security situation in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao, as a result of effective policies, a dependable armed forces, and good governance.

Secretary Teodoro also welcomed the ICRC’s intent to collaborate with Philippine Local Government Units, as they are willing to engage with more partners in Mindanao, given that they have regional offices in Zamboanga City and Cotabato City. He then referred the ICRC to the Office of Civil Defense and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council as two bodies which may also cooperate more with the said organization.

Mr. Bruwer, for his part, expressed his appreciation for the productive working relationship between the ICRC and the DND and looked forward to more collaborations in the future.

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