Sep 202014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/02/09MANILA332.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA332
2009-02-13 08:25
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO1120
OO RUEHCHI RUEHFK RUEHHM RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHPB
DE RUEHML #0332/01 0440825
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 130825Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3222
INFO RUEHZU/ASIAN PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI//FPA// IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000332

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/PMBS, EAP/EP, EB/IFD, EAP/EP DARCY ANDERSON
AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR FOR PAM ZARESK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETTC PARM PREL KSTC RP
SUBJECT: PHILIPPINE PROGRESS TOWARD INTEGRATED EXPORT CONTROLS

¶1. (SBU) Summary: While the Philippines is not a major producer of
strategic items, its active terrorist organizations, incomplete
laws, poor enforcement, and widespread corruption makes it a weak
link in the global export control regime. Post is working with
Philippine counterparts to help them build a more effective export
control system. In the last two years we have provided training and
expertise, installed radiation detection equipment in Manila ports,
assessed the security and safety of biological laboratories,
assisted in safeguards improvements, and lobbied for and provided
information on improving the export control legal regime. At our
urging, the Philippines is currently drafting comprehensive export
control legislation. End summary.

The need for comprehensive export controls
——————————————

¶2. (SBU) The Philippines is not a major producer of items subject
to export controls. However, the southern Philippines is a breeding
ground for terrorist activity, and has been designated a “terrorist
safe haven” since the classification was created in 2006. Because
of links between domestic terrorists and international terrorist
organizations including Jemaah Islamiyah and Al-Qaida, the
Philippines is a weak link in global strategic trade management. In
many cases, the links between these groups have taken the form of
assistance in procuring weapons and explosives. The major factors
that contribute to this situation include the numerous unpatrolled
Philippine islands, a strategic location at the crossroads of global
shipping routes, multiple domestic terrorist groups, endemic
corruption, poorly trained staff in key agencies, lack of inspection
and monitoring equipment, and absence of a comprehensive strategic
trade control regime.

¶3. (SBU) The lack of strict implementation of existing laws poses
additional proliferation threats. For example, the semi-conductor
industry, important to the Philippines, uses some chemicals for
which safeguards are established under international agreements.
However, the country has not effectively implemented those
safeguards. The Philippines has long had a thriving illegal market
for small arms and other military equipment in the country. At
present, the Philippines does not have a national inventory of
pathogens and biological agents available in their laboratories even
though this is a requirement of agreements that the Philippines has
signed. Of particular concern are the lack of clear provisions on
dual-use items and the lack of a national control list.

International commitments
————————–

¶4. (SBU) The Philippines plays an active role in international and
regional nonproliferation efforts, but could do much more if it had
a unified export control regulatory regime. It is a party to the
Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the
Biological Weapons Convention, and other such agreements. It
accepts International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and the
Additional Protocol. The Philippines is part of the U.S. Megaports,
Container Security, and Proliferation Security Initiatives. It is
also a party to the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty.
Our Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program
provides assistance in form of training and equipment donations to
help the Philippines become more involved in regional and
international arrangements and to better meet their international
commitments.

U.S. and GRP Collaboration
————————–

¶5. (SBU) In order to assist the Philippines to develop and
strengthen its strategic trade controls, the Export Control and
Related Border Security (EXBS) program has delivered several
training programs and donated equipment to Philippine agencies since
¶2007. EXBS has conducted five workshops that trained a total of
some 200 participants in the areas of proliferation awareness,
commodity identification, national control lists, cargo examination,
and other related issues. EXBS has sponsored eighteen Philippine
government officials on travel abroad for export control training
and conferences. Econ officers have collaborated with the
Philippine Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime, under
the Office of the President to tailor this training to the specific
needs of the Philippines.

¶6. (SBU) Between 2006 and 2008, the U.S. nuclear non-proliferation
program “Megaports Initiative” installed radiation detection
equipment and communication systems in two Manila ports. This
equipment detects the presence of nuclear and other radioactive
materials in containerized cargo to help counter the threat of
terrorists shipping nuclear materials to the United States. Post

MANILA 00000332 002 OF 002

has also encouraged the Philippines to endorse the Global Initiative
to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, an issue which is still under study
here.

Philippines prepares to draft new legislation
———————————————

¶7. (SBU) In recent years, the Office of the Special Envoy on
Transnational Crime has become a leading force for comprehensive
strategic trade law in the Philippines. As an initial step, the
Special Envoy has formed a technical working group composed of
representatives from the Departments of Trade, Environment and
Natural Resources, Science and Technology, Defense, and the Bureau
of Customs. The working group has compiled existing laws,
regulations and documents related to strategic trade management to
serve as a reference in drafting a comprehensive strategic trade law
for the Philippines. It has met several times in the last two
months to discuss draft legislation. In late January 2009, EXBS
conducted a Legal and Regulatory Workshop in Manila on Strategic
Trade Controls. In the course of three days, the U.S. team trained
thirty-two participants from various government agencies and
provided advice on drafting the needed legislation. The overarching
message of the workshop was that passage of comprehensive export
control legislation was an important step toward resolving current
inadequacies.

¶8. (SBU) Post plans follow-up training on implementing rules and
regulations for export control legislation, and later this year will
sponsor ten Philippine officials to travel to the U.S. to learn
about our export control system and to liaise with U.S. legislative
experts.

KENNEY

   

 

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