US provides fund for Philippine trade e-licensing platform

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MANILA — The United States provided funding support for the development of the Philippines’ strategic trade e-licensing platform to help prevent the illicit movement of material used for military purposes or for the production of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

Funded by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)’s Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program and administered by the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry-Strategic Trade Management Office (DTI-STMO), the e-licensing platform will serve as a single platform for all strategic trade-related services, making transactions more efficient, transparent and secure.

It also aims to strengthen the Philippines’ export trade controls, increase counter-proliferation financing and position the Philippines as a regional leader in strategic trade management.

DTRA CTR provided hardware, software and training for the creation and implementation of this platform as part of the P1.65-billion ($30 million) Cooperative Threat Reduction Integrating Contract focusing on DTRA’s Biological Threat Reduction and Chemical Security and Elimination programs.

Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said the launch of the platform is a significant stage in monitoring and controlling trade in the specified strategic goods.

“We aim to balance facilitating legitimate trade and maintaining international peace and security, and we want to trade in tools while ensuring that these tools are not used as weapons. The STMO e-licensing platform is a way forward in responsibly managing strategic goods and providing related services,” Pascual said during the launch on Feb. 20.

Pascual emphasized that the management of WMDs, as well as other arms proliferation challenges, is part of the Philippines’ international obligations in pursuing peace and security.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.