OPAPP exhorts Region 8 youth to be involved in continuing pursuit for peace
Tacloban City (September 21) -- Speaking before a crowd of more than 3,000 secondary school students at the Tacloban City Convention Center yesterday, Undersecretary Nabil Tan who is the Deputy Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, called on the youth to know, to learn and to be aware of their important role in the continuing and challenging pursuit of the peace process.
Usec Tan was the keynote speaker during the Peace Symposium with the Youth, jointly organized by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Philippine Information Agency Region 8, in connection with the celebration of the 4th National Peace Consciousness Month with the theme "Kapayapaan Para sa Kabataan at Kinabukasan: Kapayapaan, Atin 'To."
Undersecretary Tan informed the students that the Peace Process is a very important undertaking in the country's march towards building a strong republic. It is through this effort, he said, that "we work to seek common understanding, harmony and unity with all groups that have rebelled against the government."
It is a major effort where everyone in the communities are engaged, including the non-government and civil society organizations, peace oriented groups as well as the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, along with several government agencies, in order to create an environment that is favorable for peace to prosper.
There is so much that the youth can do today to reach out, to be involved and to make their voices heard, Undersecretary Tan stressed. He urged the youth to use the modern technologies available today for them to have a stronger voice for peace.
In many conflict-affected areas in Mindanao where he came from, Undersecretary Tan said he has seen many young people holding M-16 armalite rifles instead of pencil and paper. They don't talk about education and they don't exhibit the behaviors of young normal people. The only language they know is to fight with an armed struggle. Even without getting killed, these young people have already become casualties of war, he lamented.
The youth need not go into serious discussions about peace. The youth need not learn more about the NPAs and the MILF and other rebel groups. They need not go into trouble understanding how the government works for it. All they need to do is to make themselves succeed in life and be responsible citizens of this country, Undersecretary Tan underscored.
"Stand proud in who you are and what you can do. By making yourself succeed in life, you contribute a lot in making this country strong, peaceful and productive," the Undersecretary concluded. (PIA 8) [top]