Task Force Bangon Marawi's (TFBM) member-agencies along with the security forces are now being equipped with training on the culture of peace to ensure that the government interventions for the rehabilitation and recovery war-torn city are culturally sensitive to the residents.
Now on its third year, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in collaboration with the TFBM, 103rd Infantry Brigade and 2nd Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have been implementing Duyog Ramadan for the residents affected by the armed conflict since 2017.
This program involves introducing conflict sensitive and peace-promoting (CSPP) practices not only for programs being implemented in the city but also to the state workers, particularly the AFP personnel.
The CSPP program has already trained two batches of hijab troopers, which composed of military women that have been regarded with great contribution to the rebuilding peace efforts in Marawi.
Members of the Hijab Troopers were one in saying that the CSPP training carried out by the OPAPP had helped them develop a better understanding of the peace process and learn how to help victims of war-torn communities recover from the conflict.
Sgt. Sharon Larona who was among the first batch of Hijab Troopers assigned in Marawi after the siege said: “I have realized when we go to the community, we should understand and be sensitive to the culture of the area that we served.”
At the recognition ceremony during the 10-day Duyog Marawi, General Romeo Brawner, 103rd Brigade commander, who was a CSPP-trained himself, encouraged the AFP members to undergo such training.
“This CSPP training is very important because it opens our minds from thinking like a military person to thinking as a peace advocate,” he said.
“We were told that the core competency of the military is to fight wars. But there’s more to our job than just fighting wars, and this is peace-building, peacekeeping, and peace-promoting,” he emphasized.
“Because of the importance of these training, I think, all military personnel should undergo CSPP training, not just those personnel who are assigned in conflict-affected areas,” he added.
OPAPP Executive Director Gloria Jumamil-Mercado suggested ways in which Hijab Troopers can effectively play their roles in Women, Peace and Security.
“The Hijab troopers help ensure gender and cultural sensitivity. We are encouraging that CSPP be part of the military’s curriculum,” she said.
OPAPP's peacebuilding commitment
Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., emphasized that these efforts are part of building a culture of peace to fast track the social healing and reconciliation in Marawi.
“At the end of the day, our goal is to ensure that the Marawi siege will not happen again. To do that, we are exerting our collective efforts with the AFP, other government agencies and most importantly the people of Marawi, in rebuilding the social fabric of the Maranaw communities,” he said.
“Our rehabilitation efforts are ensuring that the CSPP approaches are in place. As early as 2018, we have started mainstreaming this through our local government partners. We are institutionalizing the CSPP as we integrate it in the Barangay Development Plans not only in Marawi but the entire province of Lanao del Sur,” he emphasized.
OPAPP is a member of the Task Force Bangon Marawi under the sub-cluster on Peace and Order.