Manila-The United States government, through the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), supported 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 DTRA’s Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program and administered by the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry-Strategic Trade Management Office (DTI-STMO), this 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 a larger P1.65 billion ($30 million) Cooperative Threat Reduction Integrating Contract focusing on DTRA’s Biological Threat Reduction and Chemical Security and Elimination programs.

“The launch of the platform is a significant stage in monitoring and controlling trade in the specified strategic goods,” Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said during the e-platform’s launch on February 20. “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.”

Secretary Pascual further emphasized that the management of weapons of mass destruction, as well as other arms proliferation challenges, are part of the Philippines’ international obligations in pursuing peace and security.

“DTRA CTR values its longstanding partnership with the Philippine government in preventing the proliferation of WMDs and related materials and delivery systems,” DTRA Chemical Security and Elimination Program Manager Michelle Nalabandian said.

“We are pleased to partner with DTI-STMO to develop and implement this platform which we believe will have a positive impact on strategic trade management within the ASEAN region.” (PR)