- Aries Arugay, Charmaine Willoughby, and Julio Amador
This paper examines the perceptions of Filipino strategic studies analysts, practitioners, and officials regarding the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (known as the Quad) launched in 2017 and its attendant connection with the United States’ Free and Open Indo-Pacific project. Based on an online survey of more than 200 Filipino respondents, it asked and gauged their attitudes toward the Quad and its relevance in the current regional strategic environment, as well as its impact on the Philippines’ national security and defense policy and strategy. This paper also compared the results of our survey with existing surveys conducted by international think-tanks on the Quad and the Indo-Pacific.
The APPFI survey’s main findings are: first, there is a small majority of respondents who are familiar with the Quad as a multilateral security arrangement. Second, among the respondents who are aware of the Quad, they mostly view it as a “counterweight” to China’s increasing assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific. Third, there is the majority view that the Philippines can benefit from its participation in activities related to the Quad. Specifically, a majority of the respondents believed that the Quad can manage tensions in the South China Sea and contribute to the Philippine government’s pursuit of an independent foreign policy. Finally, our survey revealed that while the Quad could potentially serve Philippine strategic interests, the respondents expressed caution that it may undermine ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN-led regional security architecture.