MANILA – Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. proposed the creation of a ‘National Peace Institute’ that will enable the agency to further strengthen and expand its peace constituency-building efforts with the academes, civil society organizations (CSOs), vulnerable sectors, national line agencies, and international peace partners.
Galvez made the recommendation during a Strategy Formulation Workshop held in Pasig City on February 28, which was participated in by executives and personnel of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
“We at OPAPP work nationwide and deal with different organizations and negotiate with rebel groups. Just imagine the challenges in managing our agency’s 600 personnel and other stakeholders,” he said in the vernacular.
“That’s why we need a National Peace Institute — to help in our peace constituency-building efforts so that we can establish a modality with CSOs and other government organizations which can help us in our work in achieving peace and development in conflict affected areas,” Galvez added.
He explained that the peace institute will serve as OPAPP’s “nerve center,” and will handle the agency’s knowledge management, peace education, peacebuilding networks and capacity-building programs for future peacebuilders and conflict managers.
The Ambassador Manuel T. Yan Peace Resource Center located inside the OPAPP office currently serves as a repository of all information and education campaign (IEC) materials produced by the agency on the peace process.
According to Galvez, the resource center shall be transformed into the National Peace Institute to effectively accomplish mandate particularly in the implementation of the Normalization Program in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, and the reintegration of various rebel returnees to the mainstream society. The facility will conduct research and study, documentation, and education on the OPAPP’s various initiatives — from environmental scanning, to mediation and peace negotiations, to reconciliation, rehabilitation and unification efforts.
In the meantime, the peace adviser underscored the importance of the strategy formulation workshop in terms of how it will help the organization formulate its medium and long-term plans and effectively implement them.
“Through this strategic roadmap we are developing, we can determine how our organization will develop and evolve towards achieving a just and peaceful society, which is our main objective,” he said. “The key to our success will be how we can effectively implement our programs, and at the same time, maximize our resources so we can achieve the best results possible.”
The strategy formulation workshop, facilitated by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), aimed to capacitate OPAPP staff in formulating the agency’s strategic roadmap, program deliverables and outcome indicators.
The workshop is anchored on the principles of the Performance Governance System, a platform which is designed to help agencies design, execute, monitor, and sustain their strategies.
OPAPP celebrated its 25th founding anniversary last year. Since its creation, the agency has been instrumental in pushing forward the Philippine peace process and finding solutions to address the decades-long armed conflict in the country.
Among its key milestones last year were the re-engagement efforts with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Misuari and Jikiri groups; decommissioning of former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Rebolusyonaryong Partido Manggagawa Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade-Tabara Paduano Group; and completion on the implementation of the 1986 SIPAT Agreement with the Cordillera Bodong Administration/Cordillera People’s Liberation Army.
Further, the agency takes a proactive role in the implementation of the whole-of-nation approach through localized peace engagements and provides social healing and reconciliation efforts for the victims of the Marawi siege.
In collaboration with its local and international peace partners, OPAPP has helped facilitate, among others, the passage of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Government of the Philippines and MILF.
The agency also played a crucial role in the passage and ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) which has given birth to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and Bangsamoro Transition Authority, as well as the implementation of the political and normalization tracks of the CAB. (PR)