PASAY CITY — The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) launched on Friday its Conflict Sensitivity and Peace Promotion (CSPP) Guidebook for government communicators.
The guidebook aims to deepen the communicators’ understanding of the culture of peace, and become conflict-sensitive in crafting various communication content, while also actively promoting the peace and development agenda of the national government.
Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said the guidebook will help empower government communicators as peacebuilders.
“The launch of this Conflict Sensitivity and Peace Promotion Guidebook for government communicators symbolizes our high regard for our government communicators and the key role you can play in peacebuilding,” Galvez said.
“You are not just mere chroniclers of events but serve a higher purpose, and that is, to be agents of peace and positive change in your communities,” he added.
The guidebook also features other communications tools and literature that will help government communicators improve their craft such as the Gender-Fair Media Language by the Philippine Commission on Women, and the Style Guide for the Government developed by the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office in 2016.
According to Galvez, the guidebook is designed not only for crafting CSPP-oriented materials on armed conflicts, but also for other forms of conflict that have a major impact on society.
“We would like to emphasize that the ideas contained in this guidebook are not only limited to armed conflicts and the peace process in general. In fact, this guidebook can help communicators inform their writing on a range of issues which lead to conflict such as hunger, poverty, agricultural issues, human trafficking, crime and other societal ills,” he said.
The peace adviser stressed that effective and responsible communication practices which are anchored on CSPP principles will be crucial in developing peacebuilding programs, projects and policies.
“Let us leverage the power of communications as peacebuilders. It is our hope that through this guidebook, we will all be inspired to work even harder to create an environment where social healing, mutual understanding, peace, reconciliation and unity can flourish and take root,” Galvez said.
Director Darwin Wally T. Wee of OPAPRU’s Communications and Public Affairs Services also highlighted the guidebook’s purpose to help communicators be more active in fighting disinformation.
“The guidebook also acknowledges the fact that misinformation and disinformation are threats to our nation’s peace and security, and should therefore be addressed in the best ways possible,” he said.
OPAPRU’s chief of staff and spokesperson Asec. Wilben Mayor meanwhile stressed the importance of building an environment wherein conflict and violence will not thrive.
“Through this guidebook, we hope to build an army of communicators who will help promote the culture of peace and mutual understanding among our fellow Filipinos, while breaking the cycle of violence and conflict,” he said.
Support from partner agencies
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles also expressed her support for the CSPP Guidebook produced by OPAPRU.
“This handbook which equips communicators with tools and strategies for deeper understanding of conflict resolution of such importance, that we are sure to make great strides in our never-ending pursuit of our democratic goals,” she said.
The Philippine Information Agency likewise committed their help in mainstreaming CSPP communications among their fellow information officers.
“Kami po sa PIA ay kasama ninyo, Secretary Charlie, sa adhikaing mas matugunan ng pamahalaan na mas makatulong tayo sa pagpapaintindi sa ating mga kababayan kung paano natin mapapalakas ang ating mga programa para magkaroon ng tunay na kapayapaan sa Pilipinas,” said PIA Director General Ramon Cualoping III.
Dir. Lee Ann L. Pattugalan of the Philippine News Agency, meanwhile, congratulated the OPAPRU and encouraged other agencies to participate in OPAPRU’s CSPP efforts.
“I would like to call on everyone here from different departments and agencies to participate in OPAPRU’s workshops and capacity-building activities to enable us to further help the government in promoting a culture of peace,” she said.
The Department of Interior and Local Government, which is the co-lead agency of the OPAPRU for the Localized Peace Engagement cluster of the NTF-ELCAC, highlighted the importance of practicing CSPP in government communication.
“The CSPP will serve as the communicators’ bible that will help writers and communicators in the public sector craft consistent strategies and effective methodologies for the advancement of the government’s peace agenda and related initiatives without contributing to the escalation of conflict.,” said Undersecretary for Plans, Public Affairs and Communications Margarita N. Gutierrez.
Gutierrez’s message was echoed by DILG’s Public Affairs and Communications Service Director Marlo Guanzon.
“Rest assured that the DILG is one with you and firmly united in our common quest towards genuine and lasting peace where people live, work, and do business peacefully and happily in communities,” he said.