THE Army’s 1st Infantry Division and the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi has brought the second batch of selected children from Marawi City to a five-day educational tour in Manila.

The five-day activity, dubbed as “Tabak Education Tour 2,” is from Tuesday, September 26, until Saturday, September 30.

The children will be brought to selected locations in Manila including a simple meet and greet activity with President Rodrigo Duterte at Malacañang Palace.

“We recognize the effect of the ongoing Marawi Crisis to children, that is why we are conducting this socio-cultural tour with the theme: Peaceful Environment for Marawi Children,” Major General Rolando Joselito Bautista, Joint Task Force Marawi commander said.

“They will undergo psycho-social activities for peace building away from their regular community and school environment. We want to expose them to peaceful environments outside their conflict affected area,” said Bautista, who is also the Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander.

“This activity is part of the military’s soft power approach as part of remedial measures to unwind the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral functioning of children away from conflict areas in Marawi City. This activity is to provide new experiences of seeing peaceful real-life application of the lessons they have learned in school,” he added.

He said the tour itinerary also includes Philippine Army Museum, KidZania Manila, the National Museum, and Manila Ocean Park.

It was not known as to how many children that comprises the second batch of the education tour.

The first batch who went on education tour from August 28 to September 1 comprises of 35 children aged seven to 13.

The conduct of the tour is in partnership with the Lanao del Sur Provincial Government, Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Desk, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Teach Peace Build Peace Movement, TV-5 Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Rotary Club of Padre Burgos Manila, Philippine Information Agency, and Kilos Kabataan Livelihood Foundation. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)