About Mary Francis Rivera

Maffi as her friends call, manages the digital media platforms of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. She is bossy - not in a pejorative way but being bossy and tenacious means she is passionate, goal driven, and ambitious. She loves films, filmmaking, books and anything about design, and hates serif.

Call for Nominations: ASEAN Prize 2021

Now in its fourth year, the prestigious regional award acknowledges outstanding ASEAN citizens or ASEAN-based organisations who have made exceptional contribution and shown exemplary work in strengthening the ASEAN community building, promoting regional integration, fostering inclusivity and raising ASEAN awareness.

The Community Affairs Director of ASEAN Secretariat Lee Yoong Yoong, who oversees the ASEAN Prize administration, said: “After a challenging 2020, ASEAN Prize 2021 is an opportunity to celebrate the indomitable spirit of ASEAN citizens in helping to improve our lives as a community. We hope to identify and recognise another ASEAN champion to inspire the region as we journey together towards post-pandemic recovery.”

According to the rules, the nomination should be submitted by at least one reference. Submissions must include the summary or highlights of the nominee’s achievements and relevant supporting documents since the launch of the ASEAN Community on 31 December 2015.

The Judging Committee, chaired by the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dato Lim Jock Hoi, and his predecessors, will review the nominations and select the ASEAN Prize 2021 Recipient, who will receive the ASEAN Prize trophy to be presented at the 54th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, and a US$20,000 cash prize. The ASEAN Prize is supported by Temasek Foundation, Singapore and Yayasan Hasanah of Malaysia.

Since its establishment, ASEAN Prize has been awarded to three recipients. In 2018, Erlinda Koe from the Philippines was the Prize’s inaugural recipient in recognition of her efforts to build an inclusive ASEAN Community by raising awareness on autism. The following year, Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, an ardent humanitarian leader from Malaysia, received the Prize for her contributions in championing humanitarian responses across the region and the world. Last year, the ASEAN Studies Centre from the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute of Singapore was awarded the Prize for their long-standing work in promoting regional integration in ASEAN.




The ASEAN Prize recognizes inspiring achievements and exemplary contributions of an individual or organization in fostering the ASEAN identity, promoting the ASEAN spirit and championing the ASEAN way. ASEAN Prize nominees should have exceptional merit in contributing to the following designated focus areas, taking into account ASEAN’s theme this year, “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”, as designated by the ASEAN Chair, Brunei Darussalam:

  1. Outstanding collaboration between ASEAN Member States (AMSs);
  2. Outstanding collaboration between ASEAN and the world;
  3. Outstanding people-to-people engagement among AMSs;
  4. Outstanding economic integration and promotion of standards between AMSs; or
  5. Other outstanding contributions to ASEAN Community Building.

Award Nomination and Eligibility for ASEAN Prize 2021

  • Nomination starts on 1 February 2021.
  • The nominee must be an ASEAN citizen or an ASEAN-based organisation.
  • The nominee must produce valid/verifiable documents, and highlight his/her achievements and impact on ASEAN since the launch of the ASEAN Community in 31 December 2015.
  • The nominee should also share future plans in continuing the work after winning the Prize.
  • All nominations must be submitted to the respective ASEAN National Focal Points by 23 April 2021 (Friday) at 5pm (Jakarta time).

For nominations from the Philippines, please submit to the following:

ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Division ASEAN-Philippines National Secretariat
2330 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Philippines
Tel.: 8344431, 8344470; Fax: 8321667
Email: asean@dfa.gov.ph

The ASEAN Prize 2021 nomination form can be downloaded here or at https://asean.org/asean-prize/.



By |2021-04-09T11:14:47+08:00April 9th, 2021|Features|0 Comments

Inter-agency task force disbands six private armed groups in Maguindanao in Q1 of 2021

MAGUINDANAO PROVINCE – The National Task Force for the Disbandment of Private Armed Groups (NTF-DPAGs) has so far disbanded six private armed groups operating in this province from January to March this year.

This was according to Police Lieutenant General Jose Chiquito Malayo, commander of the Task Force DPAGs in Western Mindanao, who presented the task force’s accomplishments during the Third Oversight Committee Meeting of the NTF-DPAGs on Friday, March 26.

“This is the result of intensified efforts and activities in bringing down the number of active PAGs and a clear evidence to the lawless groups that the government is determined to uphold peace and order in the Bangsamoro,” he said.

In his presentation, Police Brigadier General Honorio Agnila, commander of the Task Force DPAGs in Eastern Mindanao, bared that private armed groups which have been “downgraded” are no longer engaged in criminal activities. 

“Continuous monitoring and preventive actions were [conducted] by the task force against dismantled, delisted or downgraded PAGs to avoid their resurgence that can be used by politicians in the upcoming national elections,” Agnila said.

The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the landmark agreement signed by the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014, provides for a comprehensive approach in strengthening peace and order, as well as addressing emerging security concerns in the Bangsamoro region.

This includes the disbandment of private armed groups, the implementation of a program for small arms and light weapons management, the redeployment of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), policing, and the clearing of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and landmines.

Defense Assistant Secretary Angelito M. De Leon emphasized on the importance of convening regularly.

“This meeting is a reminder of the path that we all took to reach this stage in the [Bangsamoro] peace process. Peace requires hard work and commitment. Let us be reminded that failure in this endeavor (NTF-DPAGs) is not an option – as the alternative to peace is costly and burdensome,” he said.

The NTF-DPAGs was created on 2 September 2015, through Memorandum Circular No. 83  “Creating the National Task Force for the Disbandment of the Private Armed Groups in the Areas of the Proposed Bangsamoro and the Adjacent Regions IX to XII.”

The NTF-DPAGs is chaired by the secretary of the Interior and Local Government, with members coming from various government agencies. The chair of the GPH Implementing Panel is also among the task force’s members.

During the meeting, DILG Undersecretary and officer-in-charge Bernardo C. Florece Jr., emphasized that the work being done by the task force is both timely and crucial, particularly  in keeping the 2022 elections safe, credible and democratic.

“Now is the time to take decisive actions to disband PAGs and convince their members to abandon their gun wielding activities. We must build on the gains of our initiatives to wield out and ultimately end PAGs for they don’t deserve room for a just society,” Florece said.

“With the group’s strategic plan in place, we should be able to address the root causes of PAGs in key priority areas and facilitate an inclusive and active participation of all sectors of society in the pursuit of peace,” he added.

Florece also underscored the commitment of DILG in dismantling PAGs, saying “…rest assured that we in the Department of Interior and Local Government, are ready to render any necessary assistance, the DILG will remain focused on disbanding PAGs in the country.”

For his part, DILG Assistant Secretary and alternate chairperson of the NTF DPAGs Alexander L. Macario pointed out that the work being carried out by the task force covers the entire country.

“Part of DILG’s commitment for a peaceful community, the DPAGs will not only be done in Regions 9, 10, 11, 12 and BARMM areas but to other regions as well,” Macario said.


Game plan vs PAGs

Meanwhile, Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr reiterated his guidance to members of the task force as they conduct operations against PAGs.

Galvez reminded them to implement community-based activities, noting, “A comprehensive peace process should be community-based and aims to establish a genuinely pluralistic society, where all individuals and groups are free to engage in our different activities and programs.”

He also emphasized the need to decrease the number of PAGs before the 2022 elections. 

“It is critical to eliminate as many active PAGs as we can to protect and uphold democracy and weaken the culture of violence in the region,” Galvez said.

The peace adviser also reminded the task force to take into account the situation in the field when implementing its programs on PAGs. 

“There would be instances that things will not proceed as planned. so it’s imperative that we have a plan A, B, C, and so on. This will allow us to effectively collectively make decisions and act based on emerging realities on the ground,” he said.

In order to generate stronger public support for the initiatives being done by the task force, Galvez highlighted the importance of strengthening the group’s capacity for strategic communication.

“We need to make people understand what we do, and why we are doing these things. We have to show everyone that our main goal is to create an environment free from fear, anger and violence, and where peace, mutual understanding and unity reign,” he said.

As the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 and country’s Vaccine Czar, Galvez also reminded everyone to observe the policies of the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“There is a need for us to strictly adhere to minimum health guidelines and protocols set by the national government when we are making our forum and meetings. even if the vaccines have started to arrive, we cannot be complacent and let our guard down.”

Galvez called on members of the task force to continue the outstanding work they have been doing to ensure peace and security in the region.

“Our gathering today is a testament of our desire to accomplish our mission. Let us continue to work hand in hand to realize our collective vision of achieving long-lasting peace and sustainable development in the Bangsamoro,” he said. END

By |2021-03-27T10:10:08+08:00March 27th, 2021|MILF, News|0 Comments

DILG-OPAPP JMC No. 1, s. 2020 Guidance on Mainstreaming Conflict Sensitivity and Peace Promotion (CSPP) and Sectoral Concerns in the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) of Local Government Units (LGUs) in Conflict-Affected and Conflicted-Vulnerable Areas

Guidance on Mainstreaming Conflict Sensitivity and Peace Promotion (CSPP) and Sectoral Concerns in the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) of Local Government Units (LGUs) in Conflict-Affected and Conflicted-Vulnerable Areas

DILG-OPAPP JMC No. 1 s. 2020 on CSPP mainstreaming in the CDP

By |2020-11-18T12:28:44+08:00November 16th, 2020|Resources, Signed Agreements|0 Comments

National Peace Consciousness Month concludes with forging of peace and dev’t partnerships

Munai, Lanao del Norte (30 September 2020) – The month-long celebration of this year’s National Peace Consciousness Month concluded on Wednesday with the turnover of a cheque worth PhP 40 million to implement community-driven peace and development projects under the government’s PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) Program.


By |2020-10-26T13:01:43+08:00October 1st, 2020|News, PAMANA|0 Comments

Marawi celebrates Month of Peace as rehab efforts gain momentum

LANAO DEL SUR PROVINCIAL CAPITOL, MARAWI CITY (September 13, 2019) – Around 170 high-end scooters lined the grounds of the provincial capitol here, their powerful engines revving up as riders eagerly waited for the get-go.


By |2019-09-16T08:16:01+08:00September 13th, 2019|Marawi, News|0 Comments

Dureza: Biggest peace gain is support of the people

QUEZON CITY, September 3, 2018 – Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza today showcased the gains of the peace process since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016, saying the biggest gain of peace work is that “we have arisen the attention and support of the ordinary people.” (more…)

By |2020-02-04T02:14:30+08:00September 3rd, 2018|News|0 Comments