The most important provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which pertain to the framing of Philippine foreign policy are as follows:
Article II, Section 2: “The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice.”
Article II, Section 7: “The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other states the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination.”
Republic Act No. 7157, otherwise known as "Philippine Foreign Service Act of 1991", gives mandate to the Department of Foreign Affairs to implement the three (3) pillars of the Philippine Foreign Policy, as follows:
- Preservation and enhancement of national security
- Promotion and attainment of economic security
- Protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare and interest of Filipinos overseas.
These pillars overlap and cannot be considered apart from each other. Together with the eight (8) foreign policy realities outlined by the President, they reinforce each other and must be addressed as one whole.
These eight foreign policy realities are:
- China, Japan and the United States and their relationship will be a determining influence in the security situation and economic evolution of East Asia;
- Philippine foreign policy decisions have to be made in the context of ASEAN;
- The international Islamic community will continue to be important for the Philippines;
- The coming years will see the growing importance of multilateral and inter-regional organizations to promote common interests;
- As an archipelagic state, the defense of the nation’s sovereignty and the protection of its environment and natural resources can be carried out only to the extent that it asserts its rights over the maritime territory and gets others to respect those rights;
- The country’s economic policy will continue to be friendly to both domestic and foreign direct investments;
- The Philippines can benefit most quickly from international tourism
- Overseas Filipinos will continue to be recognized for their critical role in the country’s economic and social stability.