DAVAO CITY, September 17, 2018 — The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said international exchange programs have been instrumental not just in sustaining diplomatic ties between the Philippine and other countries but, more importantly, in helping the country in its quest for just and lasting peace.
In a keynote address delivered for him by OPAPP Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso yesterday at the Alumni Reconnects-Eastern Mindanao held at the Marco Polo Hotel in this city, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said exchange programs such as the United States government’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) have strengthened the long-standing relationship between the US and the Philippines.
“The IVLP is just one of the the many programs brought by our partnerships with different countries. Our partners, like the United States of America, are very instrumental in our work for peace,” Dureza said.
“We have not forgotten the contributions of our partners in ensuring that peace is moving forward in the country. These people have been with us as we work peace by piece,” he added.
Dureza also highlighted the crucial role of the IVLP in reinforcing cultural and socio-economic ties between the two countries that have been allies for decades.
“The IVLP has not only allowed exchanges of ideas and the sharing of cultures between our country and America, it has also given us an opportunity to learn innovative practices to address the problems here in the Philippines,” he said.
“As we continue working — whether it be in the government, in the business sector, academe, or civil society organizations — it is important to share to others what we have learned,” he added.
Dureza likewise acknowledged the contribution of the international development community in the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
The BOL, signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 27, 2018, is a landmark measure that is expected to bring lasting peace and sustainable development in Mindanao.
“Recently, after the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, many countries expressed their trust and confidence in our work. They said they will continue to support the new Bangsamoro government financially, technically, and in many other means,” Dureza said.
“This shows us that there is an overwhelming international recognition of our work. It is an affirmation of the effectiveness of President Rodrigo Duterte in leading our country towards just and sustainable peace,” he added.
Dureza called on the alumni of the various US exchange programs to continue supporting the peacebuilding efforts of the national government and become agents of peace and development.
“Help us, in small or big ways, in pushing the peace agenda of the administration. We need to help our President, the first Mindanaoan to hold the highest position in the land, in his goal of achieving just and lasting peace in the country,” he said. ###