Negros takes road toward sustainable peace

BACOLOD. DILG Assistant Secretary for Peace Manuel Felix addressing the crowd at Isabela gym. (SunStar)
BACOLOD. DILG Assistant Secretary for Peace Manuel Felix addressing the crowd at Isabela gym. (SunStar)

PEACE indeed plays significant role in the attainment of progress and development of a community.

It starts within us and reverberated to our family down to the community level.

But the complete attainment of peace is always difficult considering the many factors that sometimes result to unsettled disputes.

The government, for its part, is taking the lead on how to resolve conflicts so that peace will reign.

The Office of the President, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict, the Province of Negros Occidental, Office of 5th District Represetative Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, Municipality of Isabela, Bayan ng Moises Padilla, Binalbagan, Himamaylan and numerous government agencies came together to Isabela Tuesday, January 21, to extend various basic services to Negrenses from healthcare down to essential assistance that aims to promote the advantages of maintaining peace.

DILG Assistant Secretary for Peace and Order and former Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office Director Manuel Felix graced the "Serbisyo Negrosanon," retooled community support program launching and Lokal Serbisyo Caravan held at Isabela gym.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Mayor Irene Montilla, DILG Regional Director Ariel Iglesia, DENR Regional Director, Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division Commander Brigadier General Eric Venoya, Nocppo Director Colonel Romeo Baleros and other provincial and local officials attended the said gathering that aimed to promote sustainable peace.

The participants have pledged to commit themselves to actively support the institutionalization of the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, creating an environment of inclusive and sustainable peace to all.

"We commit ourselves to assume full support to the Retooled Community Support Program of the Province and unselfishly share our resources by prioritizing and harmonizing the delivery of basic services and social development packages by the government, facilitating societal inclusivity and ensuring our active participation in the pursuit of the country's peace and agenda. And we commit ourselves to be instruments of peace and development in the Province of Negros Occidental," the group pledged.

Governor Lacson, for his part, believes that in this process of achieving lasting peace, it is not enough for the government to just open its doors for peace but must extend its hands further to usher and uplift not just the returnees, but also those affected by the conflict.

For peace to be real, "we must address, preserve and respect the core of human dignity and it must be the kind that leaves no one behind. The best way to achieve this is to know from the people themselves, from those directly affected what they need and what we can do to help them. The Retooled Community Program is a great opportunity to address the root causes of local armed conflict and tensions by prioritizing the delivery of basic services and social development assistance, and in facilitating participatory initiatives of all sectors in the attainment of the country's peace agenda. There can be no real peace unless we start listening and hearing one another."


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