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The Franciscan Youths (YOUFRA) of Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor: Feeling triumphant after giving their share to the community. Tree planting and clean up activities are one of the regular activities of these youth to help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change following their weekly formation at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor. (pia-siquijor/Rizalie Anding Calibo)
Central Visayas Region

PIA Press Release
Friday, January 13, 2012

Dep Ed launches 10M votes for ‘Yes for Peace’ campaign in Cebu

by Fayette C. Riñen

CEBU CITY, Jan. 13 (PIA) -- The Department of Education (DepEd) aims for 10 million votes for peace as they launch the “Yes to Peace” campaign to solicit positive responses from the public, especially Grade 4 students and up from all public schools nationwide.

Education Undersecretary Rizalino Rivera said peace is very important in the promotion of education in the country and that 10 million votes is a significant voice from the people that wants peace to prevail and for development to prosper.

Rivera said they hoped to gather all the survey forms before the third week of next month because on Feb. 22, a simultaneous nationwide pledge for peace will be held in an event dubbed “Panunumpa ng mga Kabayani para sa Kapayapaan.”

The Dep Ed memorandum that committed to take action on the campaign through a nationwide survey among public students aged 10 years old and above was sent to regional offices on Dec. 15, 2011.

The education official expressed optimism that they can deliver the needed number of responses as the call for peace has always been part of the education agenda.

Yes for Peace Regional Campaign Coordinator 7 Buddy Villasis said anyone can fill out the survey form, which can be downloaded from the Internet, because the essence is that each voice of every Filipino who is for peace should be heard.

Villasis also represented the business sector as the executive director of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

“The CCCI as a member of the Regional Peace and Order Council under the Regional Development Council is fully supporting the program. We are also promoting the program to our members so they in turn could also fill out the forms expressing their support,” Villasis added.

Villasis said that in order to create massive support for the initiative, the Yes for Peace Bayanihan Para sa Kapayapaan Campaign is using the social media to make this possible as he said they have a Facebook and Twitter account.

Education Assistant Secretary Jess Mateo likewise agreed that peace is very important for education, as it is critical for the development of human resources.

“It is always the children (and the teachers) that ultimately suffer whenever peace and order in an area is not stable. And how can we develop our human resources if education is disrupted due to a conflicting environment without peace,” Mateo declared.

The survey result will be presented and submitted through a report on Feb. 25 to the peace panel, to the government and to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) amid the ongoing peace negotiations.

Mateo said the report could be a huge factor to any agreement eventually reached by both parties.

The present administration has voiced its commitment to end all armed conflict permanently through the ongoing peace negotiations. President Benigno S. Aquino, III in October 2011, has instructed the Department of Budget and Management to allocate a P1.8-billion funding for intervention programs aimed at reducing poverty in conflict areas in the country.

The lead organizer of the ‘Yes for Peace’ initiative is the Yes for Peace - Bayanihan Para sa Kapayapaan Campaign led by Ernesto Alcanzare is tapping the massive support of the Dep Ed to ensure the needed 10 million responses. (PIA-Cebu)

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