The Philippines’ Transparency Initiative in the South China Sea: Quo Vadis?


About the Webinar

Since February 2023, the Marcos Jr. administration embarked on a new approach in its policy in the South China Sea. This new approach, dubbed by some analysts as “strategic transparency” caught the attention of the region and the world. Part of this approach entailed exposing China’s harassment and behavior toward Philippine coast guard vessels and fishermen in the South China Sea. While this has generated widespread support from the United States and other like-minded states in the region, it likewise caused negative reactions from China. This approach is expected to be prominently included in the new National Security Strategy of the Marcos Jr administration.

This webinar examines the approach, strategy, and policy of Marcos Jr. administration in maritime security, particularly the South China Sea. It aims to help clarify the basic tenets of this new approach as well as the larger paradigm that the government wishes to implement. Another objective is to identify what should be the other elements of this approach in order to improve maritime security and the Philippines’ national security interests. How could this approach be reconciled with the policies of other ASEAN claimants in the South China Sea? What are the challenges in implementing more transparency in the incidents in this maritime zone? How can this approach fit the broader foreign and security policy of the Philippines under Marcos Jr.?

About the Speakers

Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya is Assistant Director-General and Spokesperson of the National Security Council of the Philippines. Prior to his appointment, Malaya was a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance of the University of the Philippines Diliman where he taught courses in public accountability, ethics in the public service, metropolitan and regional governance, and public policy. He also previously served as Undersecretary at the Department of Interior and Local Government. He served in nine government offices in his 25 years in the public service, including in the Supreme Court, Senate, House of Representatives, and in the Pasay City Government.

Dr Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby is an Associate Professor in the International Studies Department of De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. Her areas of specialisation are US-Southeast Asia relations, ASEAN, and regionalism, and is a frequent resource speaker in various Track II fora and roundtables by national government agencies. She was a Visiting Research Fellow under a Japan Foundation grant in the Osaka School of International Public Policy at Osaka University in Japan, as well as a recipient of the inaugural US-ASEAN Fulbright Program. Dr. Misalucha-Willoughby received her PhD from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Assistant Professor Jaime Naval is a full time faculty member of the Department of Political Science at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. He is a keen observer of ASEAN affairs, Chinese politics, East-Southeast Asia relations and major power dynamics. Prof. Naval has served at the Philippines’ National Security Council. He is actively involved in Track 2 discourses on the South China Sea. He is a fellow at the Strategic Studies Program of the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS), and a board member of the Philippine Association for China Studies (PACS). He obtained a Master’s in Public Policy jointly managed by the National University of Singapore under a Lee Kuan Yew-Temasek scholarship and the Harvard University’s Institute for International Development.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Feb 15 2024


2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

More Info