DAVAO CITY — The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU), through its Knowledge Management and Peace Institute Service (KMPIS), spearheaded a virtual learning exchange between the ASEAN-Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (A-IPR) and Philippine Higher Education Institutions on June 6.

Deputy Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (DPAPRU) for Operations, Undersecretary Isidro Purisima noted that the activity could lead to collaborative efforts between the A-IPR and HEIs.

Purisima said that ASEAN countries are bound by the same commitment and responsibility in strengthening regional peace and security, and uplifting the socio-economic well-being of its people.

Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. and ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation Executive Director, Ambassador I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja emphasized the importance of collaboration between the A-IPR and HEIs

“Creating a strong link between ASEAN-IPR and the Philippine Educational Institutions will strengthen our commitment and responsibility of enhancing regional peace, security and prosperity across the ASEAN region,” Galvez said.

“ASEAN-IPR is a platform for all to participate and contribute to sustaining positive peace in the region,” Puja said.

ASEAN-IPR Secretariat Communications Officer Rif’At Fachir and Project Management Officer Kartika Wijayanti highlighted the achievements of the body.

Commission on Higher Education Director of Office of Programs and Standards Development, Dr. Cherrie Melanie Ancheta-Diego presented the peace education initiatives being carried out by the Higher Education sector.

The virtual learning exchange also highlighted the best practices of Miriam College and Mindanao State University – General Santos City in mainstreaming Peace Education/Studies in their program curricula.

Miriam College was represented by its Center for Peace Education Program Director, Dr. Loreta Castro, while Mindanao State University-General Santos City was represented by its Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM) Director Dr. Jovar Pantao.

The presentations were followed by an open forum.

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary– Office of ASEAN Affairs Daniel Espiritu delivered the event’s closing remarks.

The virtual learning exchange was inspired by the ASEAN-IPR University Tour concept, which was organized to introduce the ASEAN-IPR to HEIs in the region.

In particular, the activity aimed to expand the constituency for peace and establish linkages between and among ASEAN-IPR and various HEIs in the Philippines toward future collaboration on peace promotion, exchange of expertise, and mainstreaming of peace education in academic institutions.