LAOAG CITY, Aug 18 (PIA) – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in Region I holds a Peace Education Project for over 260 higher education institution (HEI) students from the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur on August 17.
Anchored on the mandate of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to put an end to insurgency, CHED has partnered with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Department of Justice (DOJ), and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) for the said activity to further promote the president’s Executive Order No. 70
CHED-I Regional Director Rogelio Galera said the peace forum also aims to strengthen the implementation of the integration of peace studies into the curriculum, guided by CMO 1, Series of 2019 entitled “Integration of Peace Studies/Education into the Relevant Higher Education Curricula.”
“Our hope to make our youth as agents of peace is very much alive… We, at CHED and our partners, will do our best to protect you and your institutions against recruitment and radicalization by any or all terrorist organizations,” Galera said.
Meanwhile, LTC Mario Jose Chico of the NTF-ELCAC tells students, “the best antidote to the deceptive recruitment of the CPP-NPA is awareness. Kaya ang ating effort is continuously informing the public.”
Chico provided orientation on the accomplishments of NTF-ELCAC in empowering grassroots through the Barangay Development Program (BDP).
“Ang ating adhikain dito is to alleviate the poor plight of our people para hindi na sila ma-agitate kasi kung wala na ang mga socio-economic concerns sa kanilang barangay, mas mahihirapan na ang mga CPP-NPA-NDF na ma-recruit ang ating mga kababayan,” added Chico.
As the lead of the Strategic Communications Cluster of RTF-ELCAC I, PIA Asst. Regional Director Freddie Lazaro engages the cooperation of the students in joining in the campaign against communism, citing that one of the avenues for recruitment of the left-leaning groups is the academe.
“As college students, you have a role in ending the local communist armed conflict because you are the ‘main clients’ of recruitment by these groups,” said Lazaro.
The peace forum ended with a short statement from Engr. Angelica Dolores, OIC Supervising Education Program Specialist at CHED-I, wherein she quoted a famous line from an American actor.
“Sab inga nila, ‘Education is the vaccine for violence.’ Napapanahon ngayon ang vaccine. But this time, to end violence, we also have a vaccine which is education,” ended Dolores. (JCR/MJTAB PIA Ilocos Norte)