In accordance with Article 4, the President of Vietnam in Decree No. 280-a/TT/SL, 1 July 1968, promulgated the PHUNG HOANG Program. The intent and aim of the Program is to utilize existing civilian and military agencies (police, paramilitary, and military forces) in a systematic and coordinated effort to destroy the Viet Cong infrastructure throughout Vietnam.
The Government of Vietnam (GVN) chose the name PHUNG HOANG to identify the program. The Phung Hoang (PHOENIX) was adopted as a symbol of the program. In Chinese and Vietnamese mythology, the Phung Hoang is a good omen of marital happiness, peace, and good fortune.
The PHUNG HOANG Program coordinates GVN agencies in the attack on the VCI by placing VCI-intelligence gathered by all agencies in one location, systematically collating anti-VCI operations (often joint-interagency efforts) based on the PHUNG HOANG Center's data bank. PHUNG HOANG is NOT a separate agency, organization, or entity. PHUNG HOANG centers are entirely dependent on the PHUNG HOANG member agencies: National Police, RF/PF, Rural Development Cadre, ARVN, Cheiu Hoi, NPFF, VIS, etc.
The U.S. Advisory effort in support of PHUNG HOANG is called "PHOENIX". Phoenix is composed entirely of U.S advisors working with PHUNG HOANG Centers at national, regional, provincial, and district levels. Substantial reliance is placed on all other U.S. advisors to the PHUNG HOANG member agencies. PHOENIX is NOT an intelligence unit or separate command - it has no intelligence holdings or collection capability. PHOENIX personnel and staff are presently members of MACCORDS at every echelon under the direct command of the senior MACV/CORDS officer at each echelon.