It has been over five years since the promulgation of Republic Act No. 10697 or the Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA) last 13 November 2015. Since then, the Philippines has taken significant steps in establishing a strategic trade management (STM) regime in the country. The Philippines takes pride in being one of the leading countries in the ASEAN region that implemented legislation that complies with international non-proliferation obligations, including the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540.

The first achievements of the Philippines in establishing an STM regime were made possible by employing a whole-of-government approach in implementing the STMA. Around forty (40) national government agencies worked together to draft the STMA Implementing Rules and Regulations and the subsequent inter-agency cooperation guidelines to support the Strategic Trade Management Office (STMO) as the executive and technical agency of the national government for the establishment of the management systems for the trade in strategic goods.

The STMO’s three divisions mirror the three pillars of effective strategic trade management: licensing, industry outreach, and enforcement. As of 2020, the STMO has reached out to 500 companies, registered 25 companies engaged in strategic trade, issued five (5) governmental end-use assurances, and two (2) export authorizations. One of the goals of the STMO is to create an effective regulatory environment where the Philippines can promote investment in strategic goods which are of high value, thus generating higher revenues for Philippine-based businesses and high-skilled jobs for Filipinos.

Moreover, the STMO continues to empower Philippine-based industries as the first line of defense against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by providing them guidelines on how to comply with the STMA, and engage them in dialogues and consultations to receive feedback on the effectiveness of the country’s STM policies.

Finally, the STMO thanks all its international partners who helped establish the STM regime in the Philippines. The STMO continuously strives to harmonize its policies and guidelines with international export control regulations, sanctions and entity lists, and compliance best practices. To address the challenges of the future, the STMO reaffirms its commitment to adopt global best practices, strengthen partnerships with industry and implement the whole-of-nation approach.