National Intelligence Coordinating Agency
Pambansang Ahensiya sa Ugnayang Intelihensiya[1]
National Intelligence Coordinating Agency of the Philippines (NICA).svg
Official Seal
Agency overview
FormedJuly 10, 1949; 72 years ago (1949-07-10)
Preceding agency
  • National Intelligence and Security Authority
JurisdictionGovernment of the Philippines
HeadquartersQuezon City, Philippines
MottoKaalaman ay Kaligtasan
(Intelligence is Security)
Agency executive
Parent agencyOffice of the President of the Philippines

The National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) is the primary intelligence gathering and analysis arm of the Philippine government, in charge of carrying out overt, covert, and clandestine intelligence programs. The NICA cooperates with friendly countries and government agencies in and out of the country by posting agents as liaison officers.[3]

The agency is led by a director-general and is assisted by a deputy director general. The former reports directly to the president.[4] Its headquarters is located in Quezon City.[5]

The NICA has a National Intelligence Board that serves as an advisory board to the director-general before he would submit his findings to the president relating to national security matters affecting the Philippines.[4][6]


Main office of NICA along V. Luna Avenue in Quezon City
Main office of NICA along V. Luna Avenue in Quezon City

Founded in 1949, it was created by President Elpidio Quirino under the authority of Executive Order 235 with further powers relating to intelligence work added by a Government Survey and Reorganization Commission in 1954.[6] The agency was reorganized in 1958 under Executive Order 291 by President Carlos Garcia.[7]

It was abolished on September 16, 1972, by President Ferdinand Marcos under Presidential Decree 51 and replaced by the National Intelligence and Security Authority (NISA)[6] headed by General Fabian Ver and the Civil Intelligence and Security Agency, assigned to counterintelligence and supervision of all civil security units in Philippine government offices.[6] The agency was primarily used to track down and eliminate anti-Marcos opponents before President Marcos was forced into exile. During his reign, it was one of the main government organizations accused of human rights abuses.[8] After the first EDSA Revolution, it was renamed the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency in 1987, replacing the NISA, and was merged with the Civil Intelligence and Security Agency[4] when the Philippine Constitution was revamped, where it refocused its priorities in tackling the communist movement. Their work has resulted in their weakening in the late 1990s.[8]

In 1990, the Philippines' national security advisor was given responsibility to oversee management and control of the agency to be responsive to the needs of the president and the National Security Council.[8][9]

Executive Order Number 492, issued on February 1, 2006, orders the NICA to activate the National Maritime Aerial Reconnaissance and Surveillance Center or NMARSC, which shall serve as the primary IMINT provider for the Philippine intelligence community.[3] Under the supervision and oversight of the National Security Adviser, the NICA-directed NMARSC will operate unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs to cater to the imagery intelligence demands of various government agencies.

NICA agents were responsible for the arrest of several Abu Sayyaf members, including Al Qaeda-linked bomber Abdulmukim Edris.[10]

The NICA is also active in the Philippines' Anti-Terrorism Council, as mandated by the Human Security Act signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on March 6, 2007.[11][12]

In 2005, it started activation of two directorates involving economic intelligence and counterintelligence.[13]

House Bill No. 7111, or the proposed Foreign Electronic Surveillance Act by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas would allow NICA agents to covertly conduct electronic surveillance operations against foreign countries, terrorists and private groups without the need of having a warrant or a court order in an emergency situation.[14] A warrantless operation outside Philippine soil would need approval from the director general and the secretary of the Department of Justice.[14]


The NICA is organized with the following:[15]

Known directors-general


  1. ^ Mga Pangalan ng Tanggapan ng Pamahalaan sa Filipino (PDF) (2013 ed.). Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. p. 6. ISBN 978-971-0197-22-4.
  2. ^ "NICA chief says CPP-NPA wants power, not peace".
  3. ^ a b "State of Surveillance in the Philippines". March 6, 2016.
  5. ^ "Directory of Department and Agencies – GOV.PH".
  6. ^ a b c d "History of NICA". Archived from the original on June 2, 2003. Retrieved June 2, 2003.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). Retrieved on December 27, 2007.
  7. ^ "Executive Order No. 291, s. 1958 | GOVPH".
  8. ^ a b c "Comparative Criminology – Asia – Philippines". Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  9. ^ "Evolving security threats".
  10. ^ "CNN – Breaking News, Latest News and Videos". November 14, 2002. Archived from the original on March 29, 2008. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  11. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 16, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "National Intelligence Coordinating Agency". Archived from the original on November 19, 2019.
  13. ^ "Committee News – House of Representatives of the Philippines". Archived from the original on June 4, 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Fariñas seeks gov't power to spy on foreign entities | Inquirer News". Archived from the original on June 26, 2018.
  15. ^ "Executive Order No. 292 [BOOK IV/Title VIII/Subtitle I/Chapter 3-National Intelligence Coordinating Agency] | GOVPH".
  16. ^ "NICA briefs government communicators on whole-of-nation approach".
  17. ^ "List of Foreign Participants". Retrieved January 26, 2017.