IV. CONSIDERATION OF MULTILATERAL TRADE AND ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS IN DOMESTIC POLICY FORMULATION
B. Integrating agreements into domestic policy formulation
1. Department of Foreign Affairs
The primary mission of the Department of Foreign Affairs is to assist the President in planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, integrating and evaluating the total national effort in the field of foreign relations. The Department ensures the participation/representation of the Philippines in various committees of the United Nations and other international organizations where multilateral agreements on the environment are negotiated. As part of its foreign policy, planning and formulating function, the Department of Foreign Affairs conducts studies, undertakes monitoring and reports on issues of relevance to the interests of the country. It provides legal services relative to treaties, agreements and other similar types of documents, and strengthens membership in the United Nations and other international and intergovernmental bodies. The presence of embassies, consulates, delegations and permanent missions of the Philippines abroad provides the Department of Foreign Affairs with a direct channel for facilitating and coordinating the position and representation of the country on various Conventions. The role of the Department of Foreign Affairs was further reinforced by Memorandum Order No. 195 on Establishing a Cabinet Cluster to Promote Coordination on International Relations, in March 1994. That Memorandum empowers the Department of Foreign Affairs, through the United Nations and other international organizations, to coordinate Philippine participation and to formulate Philippine positions to various international meetings. That role, however, needs strengthening to facilitate the timely and adequate response of the Philippines to international imperatives.