PASAY CITY — The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) has forged a partnership with the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) to boost the national government’s information campaign on its anti-insurgency and peacebuilding efforts in the country.

The collaboration was formalized through a Memorandum of Agreement signed by Presidential Peace Adviser Sec. Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., Presidential Communications Office Secretary Atty. Cheloy E. Velicaria-Garafil, and Philippine Information Agency Director-General Jose A. Torres, Jr. here at the Philippine International Convention Center on Wednesday, August 30.

Strategic partnership

The partnership between OPAPRU, PCO and PIA aims to increase the awareness of local journalists and government information officers in 13 target regions on the government’s Localized Peace Engagement (LPE) and Transformation Program (TP).

In particular, the goal is to effectively communicate LPE and TP down to the grassroots level by creating a dynamic and adaptable communication system that is not only limited to disseminating vital information, but also tailor fits key messages to various stakeholders, builds the public’s trust through collective endorsement, and counters misinformation.

“Today, we stand on the precipice of change, driven by the understanding that genuine reconciliation and unity can only flourish when informed by accurate and heartfelt communication. Our partnership, fortified through the union of the Local Peace Engagement Office (LPEO), the Communication and Public Affairs Service (CPAS), the PCO, and the PIA, embodies the power of effective communication as a catalyst for transformation,” Sec. Cheloy Garafil of the PCO said in her message

“Beyond mere information dissemination, we aim to craft messages that resonate with diverse communities, building bridges of trust and understanding. We are dedicated to countering misinformation and crafting narratives that inspire, educate, and uplift,” Garafil added.

Open and inclusive conversations

According to Torres, the partnership shall enable the three agencies to work together in providing timely and accurate information on the national government’s peacekeeping and peacebuilding initiatives to the general public, and at the same time, to advocate for open and inclusive conversations among stakeholders.

“At the PIA, we also steadfastly believe that open and inclusive conversations are the bedrock upon which lasting peace is built. By serving as a conduit for discussions among communities, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders, the OPAPRU provides a fertile ground for grievances to be heard, issues to be addressed, and solutions to be collectively devised,” he noted.

“In this noble pursuit, the OPAPRU plays an instrumental role, serving as the torchbearer of initiatives that bridge divides, heal wounds, and cultivate a culture of respect for the rich diversity that defines our beloved country. In a land as culturally diverse and vibrant as ours, these efforts are not just admirable but indispensable for our ongoing progress,” he added.

For his part, Galvez said the partnership between the OPAPRU, PCO and PIA is a testament of the Marcos administration’s unwavering commitment to sustain and build on the gains of the comprehensive Philippine peace process.

“We believe that message is king. By effectively highlighting what we have achieved so far under the LPE and its TP among our stakeholders and the general public, we will be able to gain broader support for the peacebuilding interventions we are carrying out,” he said.

The LPE, he said, is considered as one of the most effective ways in addressing the challenges caused by the decades-long communist armed conflict as is anchored on a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach.

“We are extremely grateful to the PCO and PIA for your willingness to collaborate with OPAPRU. As the saying goes, there is strength in numbers. If we are united and work as one cohesive group, there is no doubt that we will be able to achieve our objectives,” Galvez said. ###