The NICA was created by virtue of Executive Order (EO) No. 235 signed on 01 July 1949 by then President Elpidio P. Quirino in response to the need for a central entity that will coordinate the intelligence collection activities of various government instrumentalities. Pursuant to this Order, the NICA was responsible for coordinating all government activities relative to national intelligence and preparing national intelligence estimates on local and foreign situations for the formulation of national policies by the President.
The volume and scope of government intelligence activities greatly expanded during the Martial Law era (1972-81) through President Ferdinand E. Marcos’
Presidential Decree No. 51 issued on 16 November 1972 that reorganized
the NICA as the National Intelligence and Security Authority (NISA).
The NISA was then abolished pursuant to EO No. 246, signed on 24 July 1987 and created the present NICA.
During President Gloria M. Arroyo’s administration, several issuances added new functions to the Agency relative to intelligence collection, counterintelligence measures and anti-terrorism efforts.
EO No. 69, issued in 2002, provided for the reorganization of the NICA, indicating the functions and heads of the Agency’s units, and the establishment of a foreign liaison program.
Administrative Order (AO) No. 68, issued in 2003, provided the following:
- Organization of the National Intelligence Committee (NIC) which serves as an advisory body to the DG, NICA for the coordination, integration and fusion of all intelligence activities, as well as to act as the principal adviser to the President on intelligence matters. The DG, NICA sits as Chairman of the Committee; and,
- Establishment of the Directorate for Counterintelligence which serves as the focal point for the national government’s counterintelligence activities and operations.
EO No. 608, issued in 2007, established a national security clearance system for government personnel with access to classified matters, where the NICA is tasked to process information obtained through the conduct of complete background investigation of said government personnel and recommend the issuance/non-issuance of a security clearance to the Office of the National Security Adviser/Office of the National Security Director
On 04 December 2018, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed EO No. 70 institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace and creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). The NICA sits as a member of the NTF-ELCAC, and heads the Situational Awareness and Knowledge Management (SAKM) Cluster of the task force.
On 03 July 2020, President Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) No. 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 that enabled the government to implement tougher measures against terrorism. While RA 11479 repeals RA 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007 that mandated the NICA to act as Secretariat to the AntiTerrorism Council (ATC), the NICA has been given authority by RA 11479 to continue to perform said task. The Act further tasked the NICA to recommend to the ATC the filing of application for the proscription of terrorist organizations, associations, or groups of persons.