PASIG CITY — As part of its continuing efforts to promote the culture of peace among Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU), through its Knowledge Management and Peace Institute Service (KMPIS), supported the conduct of a regional webinar entitled “Peacebuilding and Peace Education: Planting the Seeds in our Education System.”
The webinar, organized by the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST) – National Service Training Program (NSTP) Department, was attended by around a thousand students enrolled in NSTP from various State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in Region III.
In his welcome message, Dr. Honorato P. Panahon, NEUST’s vice-president for Administration, Business and Finance, stressed how peace relates to progress and development.
“Peace is always the foundation of a progressive society. It is a requisite of development. Peace should be genuine, not just a product of fear, suppression or control. It must be part of our value system; thus, it must become a way of life or culture,” Panahon noted.
Rowena T. Lopez, head of OPAPRU’s Policy Development and Strategy Management Service (PDSMS) and Knowledge Management and Peace Institute Service (KMPIS), discussed the Marcos Administration’s Five-Point Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Agenda.
She also explained the national government’s Eight-Point Socioeconomic Agenda, as well as the current state of the Philippine peace process.
Lopez likewise highlighted the various peace education initiatives being carried out by OPAPRU, the most recent of which is the 1st National Peace Education Summit which gathered peace education champions from all over the country to provide recommendations on how to more effectively mainstream peace education in both the basic and higher education sectors.
She also touched on the fundamental principles and the transformation framework of peace education, describing it as a “process of promoting the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to bring about behavior changes that will enable children, youth and adults to prevent conflict and violence, both overt and structural; to resolve conflict peacefully; and to create the conditions conducive to peace, whether at an intrapersonal, interpersonal, intergroup, national or international level.”
During the open forum, Lopez underscored the key role of the youth in the promotion of the culture of peace in the country.
“Ang nilalayon natin ay hindi lamang beneficiaries ang mga kabataan, ngunit mga active partners sa pagtataguyod ng kapayapaan at pagsali sa nation building, in particular, doon sa programa ng OPAPRU sa National Action Plan on Youth, Peace and Security. Sa Participation Pillar ng NAPYPS, importante na naririnig ang boses ng mga kabataan, kung ano-anong mga programa ang maaaring angkop sa kanila at sila mismo ang maglelead at maaaring suportahan ng local and national government,” Lopez said.
Dr. Manuel B. Manuel, NEUST’s head for Civic Welfare Training Service, affirmed their institution’s full support in propagating the administration’s Five-Point Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Agenda.
“Laging kasama sa NSTP Curriculum ng NEUST ang Peace Education and rest assured that the Nueva Ecija Institute of Science and Technology headed by our university president, Dr. Fely Jacoba, will work hand-in-hand with OPAPRU in propagating the 5 Point Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Agenda of the current Marcos Administration.” Manuel said.