PHL defense exec cites need for talks on defense forces

MANILA- - Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Ricardo A. David Jr. on Monday highlighted the need for discussions about reserve forces.

In his speech during the 14th ASEAN Regional Forum Security Policy Conference (ASPC) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), David said this topic is seldom discussed in multilateral fora.

Given the unique yet critical role of reserve forces we should also promote cooperation in this area, he said.

The conference gathered defense and security officials from the 10-member regional block Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as their counterparts from several partner countries such as Australia.

It was first held in 2004 to help promote confidence building among defense and security authorities.

David is optimistic that Monday's conference will further help officials derive new lessons and cooperation activities

We believe that we can build trust and confidence with our partners if we know where they are coming from and we can promote a wide array of cooperation if we understand the over-all dynamics of the region, he said.

This is not only in line with the objectives of the ASPC but also the Philippines thrust to streamline and rationalize initiatives of the region to ensure that our cooperation activities complement one another and do not duplicate our efforts, he added.

Source: Philippine News Agency