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OPAPRU Chief Seeks Creation Of Department Of Peace

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OPAPRU Chief Seeks Creation Of Department Of Peace

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Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. is pushing for the creation of the Department of Peace.

In a news release Thursday, Galvez said the proposed department, which would eventually replace the OPAPRU, aims to sustain the gains achieved under the country’s comprehensive peace programs over the years and institutionalize the national government’s peace agenda.

OPAPRU, formerly known as the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process , was officially created under Executive Order (EO) 158 signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte in December 2021.

Under EO 158, the OPAPRU is mandated to manage, direct, integrate, and supervise the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Process through promoting and reinforcing reconciliation and unity among the Filipino people.

The agency has three major objectives: embedding peace, reconciliation and unity in the social fabric; enhancing resilience for peace; and pursuing social, economic, and political reengineering.

Galvez said the OPAPRU has recalibrated the way it carries out its peacebuilding strategies so that it becomes more focused and responsive to emerging developments in the peace and security front.

With the creation of the Department of Peace, Galvez hoped that all the peace initiatives of the previous administrations and the present will be consolidated, integrated, and institutionalized, which the succeeding administrations can build upon.

“Nakita namin kasi na best practices ng other countries, meron talagang institution… meron talagang Ministry or Department of Peace (we saw that it was being done as the best practices of other countries, there is that kind of institution, there is a Ministry or Department of Peace),” Galvez said.

He said under the agency’s current set-up, the majority of OPAPRU management and personnel hold contractual positions and do not have security of tenure, resulting in many talented mid-managers coming and going.

He said the move to transform OPAPRU aims to address the security of tenure and career advancement of peacebuilders who have dedicated their lives to peace work in the pursuit of institutionalizing and cultivating a culture of peace as well as sustaining the gains of the comprehensive peace process.

This endeavor also ensures that an entity with a more permanent character in the national government.

It shall contribute to the promotion of peace that is not merely a fleeting priority or an ad hoc approach but rather a sustained and consistent effort of the government, Galvez said.

Once OPAPRU becomes the Department of Peace, Galvez expects continuity and more effective implementation of the national government’s peace policies, approaches, and strategies.

 

Peaceful, orderly BARMM elections

As this developed, Galvez also urged the people of the Bangsamoro to help ensure the successful conduct of the first regular elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) next year.

“The Bangsamoro people must protect their votes at all costs. Every ballot cast represents the hopes and aspirations of each and every resident of the region,” he stressed.

To build on and sustain the gains of the Bangsamoro peace process, Galvez said President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., “has expressed confidence that the first regional elections in 2025 will be clean, orderly, peaceful, and credible.”

“By this time, the people of the Bangsamoro must demonstrate their political maturity. Violence, coercion, and intimidation no longer have a place in a region where democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are the norm and not the exception,” he said. (PNA)