Philippine Center of Excellence in Defense, Development, and Security

On 18 September 2017, the Department of National Defense (DND) granted the establishment of the Philippine Center of Excellence in Defense, Development, and Security (PCEDS) through Department Order No. 404. Housed within the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), the Center is mandated to address strategic change and security priorities, as well as regional and global security challenges through policy-relevant research. It is also tasked with facilitating cooperation and coordination between government agencies and international organizations on defense and security matters.

With its growing reputation in the defense and security sector, PCEDS is geared towards developing its internal capabilities further as the primary unit for the extension service program of the NDCP.

The Center will proactively work to promote the education and research objectives of the College. Its main strategy in doing so is to convene leaders, scholars, and other key stakeholders to engage in spaces and platforms for deeper discussions, idea generation, and debate. By exploring policy ideas and proposals that contribute to solving security concerns as well as preparing the country for future challenges, the Center ultimately aims to inspire policymakers, leaders, and the military to take the necessary action. This strategy is therefore cognizant of the phenomenon of analysis paralysis and seeks to overcome this.

This strategy of “Think Deep. Inspire Action” is underpinned by the Center’s mandate, mission, and objectives.

Based on Department Order No. 404, the Center is mandated to “address strategic change and security priorities of the country as well as regional and global security challenges through policy-relevant researches on global strategic affairs, particularly as they relate to national security and foreign policies. It is intended to facilitate cooperation and coordination of the Philippines with relevant national government as well as regional and international organizations on defense and security issues.”

The Center’s mission is straightforward: to help our stakeholders achieve the nation’s security goals and objectives. We contribute to the College’s mandate to build the competencies of national security leaders and provide recommendations for policy formulation.

To fulfill this mission, our team is committed to achieving the following objectives through its operations and projects:

1. Anticipate future needs, issues, and challenges that could impact the country’s national security;
2. Explore understudied security issues and opportunities; and
3. Build the competencies of stakeholders in the security sector that are relevant to current and emerging security contexts and environments.

The Center has one program which is the National Defense and Security Extension Program. The objective of the program is to enhance the academic and research programs of the College through the application and validation of learning as well as the proactive engagement with stakeholders to influence policy discussions and formulation.

The Center recognizes that for it to make an impact, it will have to be deliberate in its projects and activities. The extension program areas are a guide for the Center in identifying and developing the needed training programs, conferences, learning and resource materials, and other creative projects.

Starting in 2022, it has been contributing to capacity development, discourses, and policy formulation in the following areas: maritime security, political warfare, cybersecurity and cyber defense, and gender, peace, and security (GPS). Leadership is a cross-cutting theme the Center is also working on.

For 2023, the Center will focus its efforts on maritime and archipelagic security, smart power, cyber defense, gender, peace, and security (GPS), and national security leadership and innovation. These program areas are informed by the need to enhance foresight and strategic thinking in the defense sector.