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Gov’t seeks collaboration of civil society in peace process

Posted By: Chris Costuya On:


CAGAYAN DE ORO City, Dec. 12, 2010—The Aquino government is seeking the collaboration of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the conduct of peace process, especially in expanding the discourse on peace negotiations and in bringing about badly-needed development in conflict-affected areas.

Undersecretary Luisito Montalbo of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process admitted that the OPAPP cannot do it all alone but need the partnership and collaboration of CSOs in bringing about peace and development in conflict-affected areas.

Montalbo said that the government’s development track Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Progressive Community), or PAMANA, which
complements the peace negotiations, need the support of the CSOs.

PAMANA has three pillars—building foundations for peace; establishing resilient communities; and addressing regional development.

“It is a work-in-progress, as OPAPP is still completing the roadmap for submission to President Aquino, finalizing institutional partnerships, and establishing peace and development communities,” he said in a statement.

Montalbo also batted for the holding of regular meetings with CSOs in order to provide mechanisms for starting and sustaining partnerships.

He also revealed that OPAPP is improving its communication strategies and using social media such as Twitter and Facebook as well as soliciting the involvement of schools to “expand the discourse on the peace process.”

He explained that since peace is all-encompassing, there really is a need to explore all possible avenues to let the message out that peace is attainable and that the Aquino administration is serious in pursuing it and attaining it within six years.

Earlier, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said that CSOs can provide the mechanisms to sustain the peace process when it collapses.

Deles said that CSOs can be instrumental in “bringing and making all parties stay committed to dialogue on the negotiating table.”

“When mechanisms of the peace process collapse, civil society groups provide the alternative to sustain the peace process, especially in holding negotiating parties accountable for their actions,” she said in a statement.

Deles said that civil society groups have actively brought stakeholders to see the impact of these actions on the lives of the people on the ground, “who bear the brunt of violence and have the most stake in preserving peace.”

She also said that keeping all parties committed to the peace talks is an “opportune space” for collective action between civil society and the government. (Bong D. Fabe)


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