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Peace Month to focus on continuing legacy of national unity for peace, progress

PASIG CITY, Philippines – The celebration of the National Peace Consciousness Month will focus on continuing the legacy of peace and progress through unity among Filipinos, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) announced today.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles said the National Peace Consciousness Month will have as its theme “Pagkakaisa Tungo para sa Patuloy na Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran” to stress the need for unity among Filipinos to ensure peace and the country’s progress.
The Philippines celebrates the National Peace Consciousness Month during the month of September every year as mandated under Proclamation No. 675 issued in July 2004. The presidential proclamation was issued to “instill greater consciousness and understanding among the Filipino people on the comprehensive peace process to strengthen and sustain institutional and popular support for and participation in this effort, as well as in the global movement spearheaded by the United Nations to promote a Culture of Peace based on nonviolence, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, tolerance, understanding and solidarity.”
To kick off the celebration of the Peace Consciousness Month, the OPAPP will open an information exhibit at TriNoma and at the House of Representatives in Quezon City featuring the Bangsamoro region and its people, and the campaign for the passage into law of the Bangsamoro Basic Basic Law (BBL).
The BBL is a key legislation pushed by President Benigno S. Aquino III to establish a new autonomous region in Mindanao which responds to the aspirations of Moros for self-determination, a key to ending armed conflict in the South.
The BBL Info Exhibit will run from September 1 to 7 at TriNoma and from September 14 to 17 at the House of Representatives.
To give Filipinos an opportunity to learn more about the impact of peace on the country’s development efforts, the OPAPP will hold a Media Forum on September 18, with experts, particularly Socio-Economic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Agency (NEDA) Director-General Arsenio M. Balisacan and an official of the World Bank Asia-Pacific Division invited to speak on the socio-economic aspect of peace promotion. Secretary Deles is expected to deliver the closing remarks during the forum. The OPAPP will also celebrate its 22nd anniversary on September 25 in Pasig City with a focus on the socio-economic program Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) and its achievements in helping conflict-affected and conflict-vulnerable communities.
This is expected to be achieved with PAMANA beneficiaries sharing heart-warming stories of struggle and resilience in a special story-telling session, and a PAMANA Food Festival featuring delicacies and food from 13 regions in the country where there are communities serviced by PAMANA. To underscore the need for the public to be kept informed of the government’s effort to improve the socio-economic condition in these communities, the PAMANA website will also be launched in the same event.
“Through these activities, we hope that the Filipino public will appreciate more the peace process, and our call for unity behind the efforts to forge peace in all parts of the country, so that the next generation of Filipinos will benefit from the development that will come with the onset of genuine and lasting peace in our entire country,” Secretary Deles said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.