- Philippine Women's Network on Peace and Security
Philippine Women's Network on Peace and Security
In 2004, the Philippines hosted the 5th International Meeting of the international network, jointly with the then named East Asia-US-Puerto Rico Women’s Network Against Militarism. The meeting was called the International Meeting on Human Security and Development and its theme was “Women and Men: Creating a Culture of Peace.” WEDPRO (Women’s Education, Development, Productivity & Research Organization) served as the meeting Secretariat, and organized the Philippine Working Group (PWG) composed of Amnesty International (AI)-Pilipinas, BUKLOD Center, IMA Foundation, Kaisa Ka, People’s Task Force of Bases Clean Up (PTFBC), WomanHealth Philippines and Metro Subic. These organizations coalesced into the Philippine Women’s Network on Peace and Security (PWNPS).
In collaboration with the International Women’s Network Against Militarism, the PWNPS seeks to share experiences and make critical connections among issues of militarism, imperialism and other systems of oppression based on gender, class and nation. According to the Philippine Country Report 2004, “militarization has displaced populations and aggravated the marginalization and vulnerability of women. Due to violent armed conflict, natural disasters and human rights violations, 80% of women are displaced from their homes. Militarization has increased their vulnerability to persecution, discrimination, physical discomfort, insecurity and illnesses as result of being uprooted and evicted…” (WEDPRO). Human Rights Watch has urged the U.S. government to consider suspending military aid to the Philippines until members suspected in extrajudicial killings are prosecuted. According to Takazato Suzuyo of Okinawa, “militarized national security, global capitalism and globalization is closely connected to patriarchy, racism and gender discrimination. The economic disparity between the U.S. and host nations reflect the prejudice against host nations and history of colonial ruling.” The PWNPS seeks to promote, model and protect genuine security by creating an international women’s network of solidarity against militarism.
PWNPS envisions genuine security by these following principles:
- The environment in which we live is able to sustain human and natural life
- People’s basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, health care, and education are met
- People’s fundamental human dignity and respect for cultural identities are honored
- People and the natural environment are protected from avoidable harm
Organization’s contact information
Telefax: +632 426 7479
Mobile: +63 919 347 3009
Email: wedprophils1989 (at) yahoo (dot) com
Key Facts about the Philippines
• Until November 1992, following the 1947 Military Bases Agreement, the United States
maintained and operated major facilities at Clark Air Base, Subic Bay Naval Complex,
and several small subsidiary installations in the Philippines.
• The Military Bases Agreement provided the United States with extensive military
facilities in the Philippines for 99 years and prohibited the Philippines from granting base
rights to any other country. The agreement also allowed the US to recruit Filipinos into
the US Armed Forces.
• A strong anti-nuclear, anti-imperialist mass movement and a majority vote in the
Philippine Senate closed Subic Naval Base and Clark Airforce Base in 1991.
• The US subsequently proposed a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to cover situations
when US troops are in the Philippines for joint exercises or shore leave. The VFA gives
US troops access to Philippine ports and airports on all the main islands for refueling,
supplies, repairs, and rest and recreation. The VFA was ratified by the Philippine Senate
in May 1999.
• The drinking water from wells in the area of former Clark Air Force Base (Philippines)
is contaminated with oil and grease. At 21 of the 24 locations where groundwater
samples were taken, pollutants that exceeded drinking water standards were found,
including mercury, nitrate, coliform bacteria, lead, dieldrin, and solvents. These
contaminants persist in the environment for a long time and bio-accumulate as they move
up the food chain.
• According to reports between 1947 and 1980, more than 48 Filipinos, over three fourths
of them women and children, were murdered in or near the periphery of the bases. Many
organizations suspect that deaths related to the US military presence here in the country
have either been underreported or purposely covered up as none of the involved US
servicemen has ever been tried in a Philippine court.
• In Olongapo City alone, 4,356 women are licensed to work as "hospitality girls." The
figures of Filipino women degraded into prostitution are not cited by those in favor of US
bases as they claim these installations provide significant employment for Filipinos.
2004 Philippine Country Report
September 22, 2004 Statement
2007 Philippine Women’s Network on Peace & Security. Brochure for the Planning of the International Network of Women Against Militarism, San Francisco, CA, September 10-15, 2007.
2007 Philippine Fact Sheet. Paper Presented for the planning meeting for the International Women’s Network Against Militarism in San Francisco, CA, September 10-15, 2007.