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Last Updated: 23 August 2014

Cluster Munition Ban Policy


The Republic of the Philippines signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008.

The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines has been engaged in consultations with various stakeholders on the matter of ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions since 2009. In April 2014, a Department of Foreign Affairs official informed the Philippine Campaign Against Cluster Munitions that it has “continued its advocacy and awareness-raising activities among other government agencies and concerned stakeholders with regard to the need for the ratification” of the ban convention.[1] Officials have acknowledged that the ratification process lacks urgency and momentum.[2]

The Philippines actively participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and sought the most comprehensive treaty possible.[3]

Despite not ratifying, the Philippines has participated in every annual Meeting of States Parties of the convention, including the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013. The Philippines has attended every intersessional meeting of the convention in Geneva, including those held in April 2014.

The Philippines is not known to have made a public statement condemning Syria’s use of cluster munitions.

The Philippine Campaign Against Cluster Munitions is working for ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and discussed the need for ratification with representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of National Defense, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Commission on Human Rights, and the National Committee on International Humanitarian Law during 2013 and the first half of 2014. The campaign participated in a “multi-stakeholder training” on international humanitarian law held by the DFA in Manila on 8–10 August 2013.[4]

The Philippines is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Interpretive issues

The Philippines has yet to provide its views on certain important issues related to interpretation and implementation of the convention, including the prohibition on transit, the prohibition on foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions, the prohibition on investment in production of cluster munitions, and the need for retention of cluster munitions and submunitions for training and development purposes.

On the prohibition on assistance, the Philippines has stated that it “has no intention to assist, encourage or induce any state, group or individual to engage in any of the prohibited activities.”[5]

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

The Philippines has stated several times that it has not used, produced, stockpiled, or supplied cluster munitions.[6] In September 2011, the Philippines said that its armed forces have a standing directive that cluster munitions cannot be included as operational requirements.[7]

In April 2013, the demining NGO Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (Fondation Suisse de Deminage) received an unexploded nine-kilogram M41A1 fragmentation bomb that the Philippine Army had cleared from a construction site at Lanang in Davao City.[8] The AN-M1A1 cluster adaptor enabled six M41A1 fragmentation bombs to be deployed at the same time, making the weapon similar in function to a modern-day cluster munition.

In March 2014, a Ministry of Defense official informed the Philippine campaign that the AFM-M3 cluster bomb unit was made in an experimental stage in the 1990s by the Philippine Air Force.[9]


[1] Email to PCCM from Jesus S. Domingo, Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Office of UN and International Organizations, Department of Foreign Affairs, 28 April 2014.

[2] Email from Jaymelyn Nikkie Uy, Co-Coordinator, PCCM, 23 June 2012.

[3] For details on the Philippines’ policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 144–145.

[4] Email from Jaymelyn Nikkie Uy, Philippine Campaign Against Cluster Munitions, 5 June 2014.

[5] Letter from Leslie B. Gatan, Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the UN in New York, 2 March 2009. The Philippines reiterated this during the Regional Conference on the Promotion and Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Bali, 17 November 2009. Notes by Action on Armed Violence.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Statement of the Philippines, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011.

[8] Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL), “PCBL Monitor April 2013,”.

[9] Philippine Campaign Against Cluster Munitions meeting with Col. Gerry Amante, Commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Munitions Control Center, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 25 March 2014. The AFM-M3 is a copy of the US AN-M1A1 cluster adapter design. The use of an AN-M1A1 cluster adaptor enabled six M41A1 fragmentation bombs to be deployed at the same time, making the weapon similar in function to a modern-day cluster munition. To date, this is the only such bomb to have been found in the Philippines, and no adaptor has been recovered.