Philippines Senate targets WMD proliferation

Senate of the Philippines sponsorship bill no. 2762
Senate of the Philippines sponsorship bill no. 2762 | Courtesy of

The Senate of the Philippines recently presented a sponsorship speech for Bill No. 2762, also known as the Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA), to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) by managing the provision of weapons-related services, the trade of strategic goods and similar situations. 

“Mr. President, recent technological developments and the globalization of the world's economy and widespread international transactions have made our world a much smaller place, so they say,” the speech representative said. “With the advent of the Internet, global communication and networking have become possible and commonplace. Budget airlines have made international travel more accessible to millions of people worldwide. These developments, however, have also contributed to more security concerns between and among countries.”

Since the 9/11 attack, terrorism has changed into a global issue. Leaders fear that terrorism is growing increasingly indiscriminate in targeting common civilians. Thanks to technology and international travel, terror groups can now cause even more destruction than they did in the past.

“Terrorist networks have learned to take advantage of the global economic, information and telecommunications networks in pursuing their objectives,” the representative said. “A classic example is the case of Abdul Qadeer Khan network. In February 2004, Pakistani scientist Abdul Khan and his associates admitted successfully exploiting gaps in the national export control systems in Pakistan and other major supplier States, and assisted countries, such as, Iran, North Korea, and Libya in acquiring a whole range of technology for nuclear weapons. They did this through layers of companies that conducted seemingly insignificant transactions.”

The representative said even routine goods can be used in the development and production of WMDs.

“There is possible danger posed by nuclear, radioactive, strategic and dual-use goods, materials and services," he said. "It is for this reason that more countries are recognizing their responsibilities with regard to nuclear security and, more generally, global security against the propagation of weapons of mass destruction.”