Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has proposed the creation of an eight-member board that would provide “credible and continuous” foreign policy advice to the President.
Trillanes’ Senate Bill 1141 seeks to create a Foreign Policy Advisory Board (FPAB) under the Office of the President “to provide advice and recommendations on foreign policy formulations, and ensure a system of checks and balances” with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The FPAB shall provide a credible and continuous source of foreign policy advice, recommendation and/or insights for the President, as product of an independent data and intelligence gathering, the measure states.
“This system would also ensure that foreign policy decisions and/or initiatives would be made by the President only after hearing and/or considering the perspectives, inputs and/or wise counsel not only of our career foreign service officers but also of other senior-level leaders and advisers,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes’ proposal was filed amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s stance for the Philippines to pursue an independent foreign policy.
DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. earlier said that shift in foreign policy was because “America has failed us.” The US has been a long-term ally of the Philippines.
Duterte had also made controversial remarks against US President Barack Obama amid criticisms on his administration’s war against the illegal drug trade.
Trillanes’ proposed FPAB shall be composed of a chair and eight members, all of whom will be nominated by the DFA.
The members should be composed of two former officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, two others should be former senior diplomats of the country, two representing overseas Filipino workers, and the remaining two shall come from the ranks of businessmen and professionals.
Members of the proposed board shall have a fixed term of four years, subject to one reappointment, and shall meet at least once a month or upon the call of the chair of majority of the members.