COTABATO CITY—Ministry of Public Order and Safety (MPOS) emphasized the role of youth and religious leaders in promoting peace.
During the culmination of National Peace Consciousness Month, the Ministry conducted a Fellowship Program with the Bangsamoro youth in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi on Sept. 30.
The 1-day activity, dubbed “Bangsamoro Peace Promotion Fellowship”, is a one of the Ministry’s peacebuilding initiatives that aims to introduce and promote peace education to the younger generation of Bangsamoro.
A total of 200 participants, including students, academe, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), local government unit, law enforcement agencies, and security sectors, joined the activity.
During the program, moral governance, peace and security situation, and the challenges to sustain the gains of peace in the province were discussed.
“Bilang isang Kristianong naninirahan sa lugar ng mga kapatid kong Bangsamoro, mas lumawak ang pananaw ko sa kahulugan ng kapayapaan lalo na sa konsepto ng Islam,” Edriane Shane Casipong, one of the participants, said.
September of every year is National Peace Consciousness Month as declared through Proclamation No. 675, issued in 2004. It aims to instill greater consciousness and understanding among the Filipino people on the comprehensive peace process, and to sustain institutional and popular support for participation in the promotion of building a culture of peace.
Prior to that day, Sept. 29, an intra-faith dialogue was conducted by the Ministry attended by 26 religious leaders from different municipalities in the said province.
The dialogue discussed the importance of religious leaders’ roles in conflict sensitivity and peace promotion in the BARMM.
Provincial Religious Affairs Officer Serhan C. Daris, said, “the Ulama are the key players in uplifting the image of Islam as well as the concept of Taqwa (piety) to the people.”
The activity also highlighted the value of strengthening unity, mutual understanding, and coexistence among different religions and beliefs to avoid conflict.
MPOS Peace Program Officer V Sittie Janine Gamao stressed the importance of preventing and pacifying the early stages of conflicts among religious leaders.
The religious leaders signified their support to the Ministry’s advocacy through signing the Pledge of Commitment.
This shall strengthen the promotion of peace, love, unity, mutual understanding, respect for one another, while setting aside differences of beliefs, opinions and principles. Moreover, it sets its goal to denounce any form of discrimination against any religious group, sect or organization, and to preserve the province of Tawi-Tawi as one of the most peaceful provinces in the region.
Meanwhile, in Lamitan City, Basilan, MPOS joined the Office of the Chief Minister’s (OCM) Tulong Alay sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan (TABANG) convergence activity on Sept. 30. The Ministry offered humanitarian services such as feeding program, free haircuts, and distribution of fans to Basileños. (Majid Nur/BIO)