Julio S. Amador III, Deryk Matthew N. Baladjay, & Florence Principe-Gamboa

5 Aug 2021

This report looks at the Philippine experience of securitizing the COVID-19 pandemic which led to policies and problems that undermine human security. To show contrast, this report will also look at the three East Asian countries that have fared relatively well in dealing with the health crisis and examine the ways these
countries responded through institutions and policies centered on welfare. The paper extrapolates lessons from East Asian countries that allow for cooperation within the Philippines and ASEAN.

The authors examine the Philippine Government's efforts at securitizing a non-traditional security concern: the global pandemic. While this has led to policies that aim to contain the virus, the manner in which the Philippine Government has pursued this has come at the expense of Filipinos.

To show contrast, the authors explored the case of East Asian countries and found three valuable lessons:
1. Prioritize health policies above all;
2. Maximize public-private partnerships;
3. Strengthen civil relations;

From these extrapolations, the authors contend an approach towards human-centric regional cooperation, above and well beyond the geopolitical intricacies of vaccine diplomacy and competition.

Securitizing COVID-19: The Philippine Experience and Opportunities for Cooperation with East Asian Countries