Peace app launched to update youth on Gov’t-NDF peace talks

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 October) — The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) launched a mobile application called “PeaceBOC” (Peace Buddies Organizing for Change) that seeks to reach, update, and educate the youth and the millennials on the ongoing peace negotiations between government and the National Democratic Front (NDF).

The mobile app, the first-of-its-kind created and available for download on Android and iOS, was launched Friday at the closing ceremony of this year’s National Peace Consciousness Month at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

In a press release issued Saturday, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza pointed out that the new “generation has provided a new approach in communicating peace and this is very exciting because we get our inspiration from the young and the support they give us will help us get through this difficult work we are undertaking together.”

The app sports youth-oriented features which are aimed at raising the awareness and engagement of the youth to actively support the government’s peace programs.

Dureza noted the importance of including the Filipino people in “the bigger peace table” as the negotiations progress between government and the NDF peace panels.

“We always say that we negotiate across the table with the rebel groups to find peace, but let us not forget that there is a bigger peace table out there. We want that bigger table to be part of the process so that everybody will have ownership of the outcomes,” he said.

He said that the people must be engaged in the peace initiatives of the government that the they will sign on their behalf.

The event also marked the signing of a partnership between OPAPP and the University of the Philippines president that commits to give technical support to the OPAPP in the peace negotiations.

The peace panels will hold their second formal talks in Oslo on October 6 to 10.

The next round of talks will tackle the ceasefire and the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), dubbed as the “heart and soul of the peace process.”

“UP will provide expertise to the table to bring consensus points in very contentious issue that we are going to tackle,” Dureza explained.

Dureza led the ringing of the World Peace Bell together with Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, National Youth Commission chair Aiza Seguerra, Cabinet members, officials from the armed forces and the police, national government agencies, international partners, and civil society organizations.

“It is not a signal of the closing of the month of peace, on the contrary, it signals our continuing efforts for peace because peace work never ends – it is a work of a lifetime,” the peace adviser said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)