September is National Peace Consciousness Month and the Philippine Consulate General on Saipan is one with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process or OPAPP in fostering a culture of peace.
This year marks the 9th of celebration of the National Peace Consciousness Month, which was declared by the government in 2004 with the issuance of Proclamation No. 675.
The monthlong celebration aims “to instill greater consciousness among Filipinos on the comprehensive peace process, and promote a culture of peace based on nonviolence, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, tolerance, understanding and solidarity,” according to the OPAPP website.
OPAPP, which spearheads the Peace Month celebration, is the lead agency mandated to oversee, coordinate, and integrate the implementation of the comprehensive peace process.
September was selected for this celebration on account of the “significant milestones” that the country has achieved in pursuit of the peace process during this month, including the creation of OPAPP in 1993, signing of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front, and the launching of the 2001-2010 International Decade for Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World in 2000.
“The Philippine Consulate General enjoins all peace-loving Filipinos to reflect on the message of peace in September 2012 and in the days to come and encourages everyone to perform his or her role in achieving a just and lasting peace for our beloved Philippines,” Consul General Medardo Macaraig said in a statement.
This year's theme, “Ako. Ikaw. Tayo. Magkakaiba, Nagkakaisa sa Kapayapaan,” emphasizes “the importance of unity despite diversity and the individual participation of each Filipino in moving the peace process forward.”
“With the mainstream message-I am for Peace-every Filipino has an interest and stake in achieving peace, regardless of differences in culture, religion or home region,” said Macaraig.