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Institutionalizing peace and governance in Mindanao project


The Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ), secretariat arm of the Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP) established partnerships with three Schools and Barangay council for the Peace and Governance in Mindanao (PGM) project. Initially, PAZ will start with Ayala National High School, Sangali National High School and Southcom National High School and Local Government Units of Ayala, Sangali and Calarian.

PAZ President Fr. Angel C. Calvo, CMF spearheaded the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with partner Schools and Barangay council last March 12, 2011 at the Solidarity Center, RT Lim Boulevard, Zamboanga City. Present during said MOU Signing are Dr. Socorro P. Canaya (School Principal of Ayala NHS), Mrs. Elena Balan (School Principal of Sangali NHS), Dr. Salihmatal Lagbas (School Principal of Southcom National High School) and Kagawads of Ayala and Sangali. OIC-Director of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Hon. Mohammad Taha S. Arakama and Ret. Superintendent Hji. Abdu Rahim Kenoh served as witnesses of the said MOU Signing.

The project of peace and governance in Mindanao is funded by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and CORDAID for some sustainable plans.  As a commitment to the strengthened implementation of the PGM, PAZ serves as the lead partner agency in the implementation of the project co-funded by the Catholic relief Services and CORDAID and other donors; It had chosen and established partnerships between and among the three partner barangays and schools in Zamboanga City as direct beneficiaries of the program; the Schools and LGU’s have agreed to actively take part in the implementation of the said program and will collaboratively engage its institutions in the various projects that is covered in the PGM project as well as other programs sponsored by PAZ.

Furthermore, the school serves as the leading partner institution in the implementation of the various activities to include the Culture of Peace (COP) and Peace Education programs to Administrator, Teachers and Students; it shall link the programs to community leaders of the mentioned barangays and support PAZ in the other programs that the organization has.

The LGU’s under the supervision of DILG will serves as the supporting partner institution in the implementation of Peace and Governance program to the grassroots communities; it shall spearhead in the conduct of Culture of Peace (COP) to Community Leaders in partnership with the schools; strengthen its support to the DILG in the implementation of the Peace and Governance in the entire city and shall support the other program of PAZ.

Meanwhile, PAZ and IRSMP spearheads in the implementation of the PGM Project in partner institutions and communities; shall link schools and Barangay councils in the full implementation of the program; shall support and provide avenues in the promotion of peace in grassroots communities and/or Barangay level and shall inform the partner institutions in the many programs of the organization.

The MOU serves as the official document that will link the PGM to other barangays of Zamboanga City. The Commitment of the Schools and Barangay council inspires PAZ and members of the IRSMP in its continuous journey of bring peace in the grassroots communities. One of the major symbols of flourishing 2011 is bringing the elements of peace down to every single individual of the community- people from all walks of life.

Eventually, through the PGM, PAZ will reach out to all sectors-LGU, farmers, fisher folks, business, academe, women, differently-abled, military and police, corporate employees and many others. The PGM serves as another milestone to the journey of peace that we have been aspiring for.

By Aldrin B. Abdurahim

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