President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has taken steps to strengthen the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) in response to the changing landscape of national security threats. On January 19, the President signed Executive Order 54, directing the reorganization of NICA with the aim of enhancing intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities.
In his order, the President emphasized the need to adapt NICA to the evolving threats to national security, ensuring a more robust intelligence collection process. The reorganization also aims to intensify internal and external coordination with foreign and domestic counterparts, as well as to leverage data analytics for intelligence and security assessments. These measures are crucial for safeguarding national security and promoting the country’s best interests.
Under Executive Order 54, the Office of the Deputy Director General (ODDG) for Cyber and Emerging Threats will serve as the main component of the reorganized NICA. The ODDG will provide guidance and direction for planning, supervision, and coordination of NICA’s counterintelligence efforts. This includes addressing cybersecurity threats, weapons of mass destruction, and other emerging non-traditional threats that may challenge conventional security approaches.
The ODDG for Cyber and Emerging Threats will be headed by a deputy director general with the rank of assistant secretary, appointed by the President. It will consist of the Directorate for Counterintelligence and Security (DCS) and the Directorate for Cyber-intelligence and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (DCCWMD).
The DCS will serve as the focal point for coordinating counterintelligence activities across the national government. On the other hand, the DCCWMD will focus on conducting cyber intelligence research using data analytics, as well as countering chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats. Additionally, the DCCWMD will oversee the NICA’s internal response operations, security and safety assessments, network monitoring, and information and communications technology development and management.
To ensure effective coordination, integration, and fusion of information related to national intelligence concerns, NICA will have the authority to request personnel details from other government departments, agencies, bureaus, offices, and institutions. However, this is subject to the approval of the head of the respective office and the availability of personnel.
Furthermore, constitutional bodies, the judiciary, and Congress may also request NICA’s assistance in integrating information or intelligence and coordinating with relevant government agencies for national activities involving intelligence or investigation on matters of national security.
Established through Executive Order 246 in 1987, NICA serves as the focal point for directing, coordinating, and integrating government activities related to national intelligence. It is also responsible for preparing intelligence estimates of local and foreign situations to aid the President in formulating national policies.
The newly released Executive Order 54, which came into effect immediately, demonstrates President Marcos Jr.’s commitment to adapting and strengthening the country’s intelligence capabilities in the face of evolving threats to national security.
By reorganizing NICA and establishing the Office of the Deputy Director General for Cyber and Emerging Threats, the government is taking proactive measures to address non-traditional security challenges and ensure the country’s continued safety and well-being.
Source: The Manila Times