Friday, December 19, 2014

OPAPP exec invites greater youth participation in the Bangsamoro peace process December 16, 2014

From the Website of the President

OPAPP exec invites greater youth participation in the Bangsamoro peace process December 16, 2014
Acknowledging their role in peacebuilding, an executive from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) stressed the need for the youth’s participation in the process of passing the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in Congress, noting that it is their future at stake.

“The youth will inherit the outcome of our efforts today,” said OPAPP Undersecretary Maria Cleofe Gettie Sandoval at the Mindanao Youth Caravan on the proposed BBL held in this city, dubbed as the tuna capital of the country.

The said event was organized by the National Youth Commission, in partnership with OPAPP and the local government of General Santos City, meant to culminate the Mindanao Week of Peace by complementing efforts to further inform the youth on the pending bill in Congress known as House Bill 4994. Around 200 high school and college students were in attendance.

“It is very important that the youth understands what is happening to the country; and for you to take part in what is happening and to have a say,” urged Sandoval.

“What happens in other parts of the country affects you. Hindi puwedeng sabihin na ‘wala akong pakialam diyan; bahala nalang sila diyan.’ Kung ano ang nangyayari sa ibang parte ng Pilipinas ay mahalaga sa atin. Ang pag-unlad at kapayapaan ng Bangsamoro ay mahalaga sa ating lahat (What happens in other parts of the country affects you. You can’t say, ‘I don’t care; I’ll just leave it up to them.’ What happens in other parts of the country is important to us. The progress and peace in the Bangsamoro is important to us).”
Youth agenda

Sandoval also encouraged the students to study the proposed BBL and register their comments through their representatives, so they can be discussed during Congressional deliberations.

“Let us maximize opportunities such as this to carefully study the proposed basic law—read it line by line, dissect its provisions, and test possible interpretations. Do not go easy. Be critical. Ask the hard questions. It is only through this that will we know if the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law can really withstand even the staunchest opposition.”

“But, at the same time, scrutinize with an open mind. Be constructive; propose solutions to forward, particularly, the youth agenda,” urged Sandoval.
Rights of children, youth

The peace process executive noted that the rights of the children and the youth are safeguarded in the proposed BBL.

“Article IX, section 12, assures that the ‘Bangsamoro Government shall respect, protect, and promote the rights of the children,’” said Sandoval.

The rest of the cited section provides that “Bangsamoro policies and programs must take into utmost consideration the best interest of the child, non-discrimination of children, survival and development, protection and rights of children, youth, and adolescents.”

The proposed BBL also upholds children’s and the youth’s right to education, and includes provisions on the creation of a tribal university. There is also a provision on the promotion of arts and sports in the future Bangsamoro.

Office of the President Website

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