Peace month 2017 to highlight compassion, unity among Filipinos

“Puso para sa Kapayapaan, Magkaisa para sa Bayan,” is the theme for this year’s celebration of National Peace Consciousness Month. Rather than just talk about change, the theme reflects the positive change we want our country to achieve.

The theme also reminds us to put a little more understanding and respect to one another so that despite our many differences, having a diverse culture can be the strength of our country.

In his message for the Peace Month, Deputy Peace Adviser Undersecretary Nabil Tan also encouraged the Filipino people to be active participants to the peace process and be advocates of peace, “Let us find ways in which we can contribute to the ongoing peace process and become catalysts of peace, unity and understanding in our respective communities.”

“I believe that all of us can be peace builders. Let us start now,” he added.

OPAPP Undersecretary Diosita T. Andot also called on the Filipino people to unite so we can withstand the challenges our country experiences, “Nowadays, we say PUSO when we are passionate about something, expressing our strong feelings and emotions in an ardent way. As we celebrate the National Peace Consciousness Month this September, our PUSO for peace should be highlighted, as we reflect on our gains to promote social healing and peace building on our nation.

We would like to invite everyone to unite for our common goal in withstanding the challenges our country faces and ensuring a just and lasting peace to all Filipinos. PUSO PARA SA KAPAYAPAAN, MAGKAISA PARA SA BAYAN.”

Pursuant to the thrust of the government 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, the month of September was declared as the “National Peace Consciousness Month” by virtue of Proclamation No. 675 dated July 2004.

The same Proclamation mandates the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to be the lead government agency to coordinate and monitor the observance of the National Peace Consciousness Month.

OPAPP, together with national and local government agencies, will be conducting nationwide peace and development related events and activities. To formally launch the Peace Month, OPAPP will simultaneously celebrate Eid’l Adha on 1 September within 4 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps situated in Iligan City.

This year’s Peace Month highlight is the “Peace Buzz”. It is a peace caravan that will roam nationwide to bring the government’s peace initiatives on the ground. The Peace Buzz will kick off in Baguio City, and will make stops in Quezon City, Legazpi City, Catbalogan City, Butuan City, Davao City, Iligan City. It will conclude its journey in Marawi City, in time for the Closing Ceremony of the Peace Month.

Aside from the Peace Buzz, OPAPP will also conduct series of fora that aims to educate different stakeholders about the peace process. Other Peace Month activities include contests that target the youth such film-making, photography, and spoken word competition.