MANILA (Mabuhay) – It does matter that the Philippines does not have nuclear weapons nor operate nuclear power plants; millions of Filipinos – particularly those working abroad – are vulnerable to any act of nuclear terrorism.
This was the warning of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Saturday, just before leaving for the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands. The Vice President is representing President Benigno S. Aquino III in the biennial summit. He is also the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns.
“With over 10 million of our kababayans living and working overseas, any act of nuclear terrorism in any part of the world will inevitably victimize scores of Filipinos,” Binay said. “The Philippines does not possess nuclear material that may be turned into a nuclear weapon by terrorists or other non-State actors, nor does it operate nuclear power plants. Yet the relevance of nuclear security to the Philippines cannot be underestimated.”
North America and the Middle East have the highest concentrations of OFW populations. Filipino workers are represented in every continent, and the Philippines is also the highest provider of manpower for the global maritime industry.
The Nuclear Security Summit will gather around 53 heads of state, including United States President Barack Obama, who initiated the holding of a summit on nuclear security in 2009. The first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington, DC, in 2010. (MNS)