JUST before the holiday season 2021 was celebrated, Typhoon “Rai” entered the Philippines’ area of responsibility on the night of December 14. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) named it “Odette” and as it approached the country it unexpectedly quickly escalated into a Category 5 super typhoon on its first landing at through Siargao.
Typhoon “Odette” was a powerful and catastrophic tropical cyclone that hit our country. It became the first Category 5 super typhoon equivalent to ‘develop in December since Nock-ten in 2016, and the third Category 5 super typhoon recorded in the South China Sea, after’ Pamela ‘in 1954 and’ Rammasun ‘in 2014. “
About 16 million Filipinos were in the severely affected areas and more than 2 million were in need of assistance. Government agencies were prepared and quick to answer all of these questions; the Civil Protection Bureau and major service branches, as well as local government units and their officials, have worked tirelessly to meet the most urgent needs.
What was uplifting, heartwarming and moving was the abundance of care and support from private organizations, celebrities, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations, civil society, public enterprises, foundations and even families; from civic clubs, universities and restaurants to small businesses, individuals, village associations and alumni organizations, all shared what they could.
A commendable group of alumni is the “Matatag Class”. They are alumni of the first Executive Master in National Security Administration or E-MNSA, a program of the National Defense College of the Philippines of the Department of National Defense, launched through the Philippine Center of Excellence in Defense, Development and Security (PCEDS ) in July 2020. The E-MNSA is a rigorous 39-unit master’s program in national security theory and practice. It combines synchronous and asynchronous online learning sessions and face-to-face lessons on its campus inside Camp Aguinaldo. A policy research paper is a finishing requirement.
The program was led by Dr Gloria Jumamil-Mercado MNSA, the first female commodore of the Philippine Navy, and was conceptualized and developed with Vice President of the House and former Representative Loren Legarda MNSA and Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana . The NDCP is the government’s highest center for education, training and research on defense and national security.
The Matatag class is made up of senior officials from the national government, the private sector, local government units and NGOs. They reunited in December after graduation on August 5, 2021, with the aim of providing aid and complementing the nationwide relief campaign for families affected by Typhoon Odette. Members pooled resources, donations and mobilization efforts for operations in Bohol, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Siargao, Palawan and south of Leyte. To date, the class has collected and facilitated over 100,000 gallons of filtered water, 90,000 board feet of lumber, 8,000 square feet of shelter material and 30,000 kilograms of rice, among others, staying true to it. to the esprit de corps instilled by the training of the NDCP. on servant leadership.
The NDCP was first conceived in 1957 when military advisers from the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (Seato) proposed the establishment of a War College in the Philippines. After years of study and policy formulation, Executive Decree 44, authorizing the establishment of the National Defense College of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (NDCAFP) and placing the college under the administrative and operational direction of the Chief of Staff of the armed forces, has been signed. on August 12, 1963 by President Diosdado P. Macapagal.
Diosdado Pangan Macapagal Sr. was the ninth President of the Philippines from 1961 to 1965. Originally from Lubao, Pampanga, he graduated from the University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas. Among his notable accomplishments as president are the introduction of the first land reform law, liberalization of foreign exchange and import controls, and moving the country’s Independence Day observance from the date imposed by the colony from July 4 to the effective declaration of June 12. .
President Macapagal died of heart failure in 1997 at the age of 86, leaving the Filipino people with a great institution, the National Defense College of the Philippines.
The NDCP opened its first Resident (RC) course in February 1966. It welcomed its 57th regular class a few months ago, and in August 2022 declared 42 new National Security Administrators graduating from the first Masters program in national security administration. . I am one of them.
The author graduated in psychology from the University of the Philippines and completed two executive programs at Harvard University, the first in 2005 at Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the second in 2015 at Kadir University. Has in Istanbul, Turkey. He holds a Masters in National Security Administration and holds the rank of Commander in the Philippine Navy and has received two Bronze Cross medals.