UNITED FOR PEACE: International peace partners gathered at the Task Force Balik-Loob booth at the KaPEACEtahan Trade Fair to check out local products made by former rebels and former violent extremists.
Task Force Balik-Loob (TFBL) joined various peace partners at the Quezon Memorial Circle on Thursday, 01 September 2022, to celebrate the start of this year’s National Peace Consciousness Month, spearheaded by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity.
With an overarching theme, “Pagkakaisa at Paghilom: Isang Bansa para sa Kapayapaan,” the 2022 National Peace Consciousness Month opened with a ceremony featuring major activities such as Ringing of the World Peace Bell, Candle Lighting Ceremony, Signing of the Peace Wall, and the opening of the KaPEACEtahan Trade Fair.
TFBL showcased products produced by the peoples organization and cooperatives of the former rebels (FRs) and former violent extremists (FVEs) at the KaPEACEtahan Trade Fair. These include handwoven bags, handcrafts, and condiments made by former members of the New People’s Army from the Davao Region, as well as homemade snacks and handcrafts made by cooperatives of the FVEs from Basilan.
The KaPEACEtahan Trade Fair also became a marketplace for a variety of handcrafted goods and fresh produce harvested by local farmers association from different provinces such as Abra, Benguet, Samar, Bula, Camarines Sur; Macaingalan, Rizal; San Juan, Batangas; Mulanay, Quezon; and more. It also brought merchants that aim to help communities affected by armed conflict in Sulu and support the livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) like Tausugs. Aside from featuring and selling local products, the peace trade fair celebrated and highlighted the key milestones of the government's peace and development initiatives. It served as an avenue to show the byproducts of the reintegration and transformation programs for the local conflict peace process.
The Peace Month kick-off ceremony was also made possible by the local government of Quezon City led by Mayor Joy Belmonte. Mayor Belmonte expressed her full support towards security-related national directives such as capacitating urban communities for peace and development, and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
Presidential Peace Adviser Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. encouraged everyone to heed the call for unity to help transform former rebels into peaceful and productive individuals and turn once conflict-affected areas into peaceful, progressive and resilient communities.
“Through our united efforts, there is no doubt that we can sustain the gains of the comprehensive peace processes.” Sec. Galvez reiterated.
He concluded his remarks with a reminder that all of us have prominent roles to play in peacebuilding. “Let us always remember that all of us have an important role to play, and that is, to help build a better, brighter, and more peaceful future for our children and generations to come.”
UNITED FOR PEACE: Task Force Balik-Loob booth at the KaPEACEtahan Trade Fair featuring handwoven bags, handcrafts, and snacks produced by peoples organization and cooperatives of FRs and FVEs from the Davao Region and Basilan.