TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, 09 Aug (2017) --- About 100 youth leaders from various organizations in Davao Regional have been made to draw insights about Peace and Harmony of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the Youth Forum held in Tagum City, Davao del Norte on Aug 7 and 8.
Organized by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) 11 in cooperation with the City Government of Tagum, the Forum bannered the theme, “Living the Spirit of ASEAN Peace and Harmony”, giving emphasis on sustaining and promoting peaceful communities.
Topics lined up during the forum were “Appreciating ASEAN Peace and Harmony” discussed by Assistant Regional Director Wilhelm Suyko of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); “Finding Peace Within” by Socorro Vinluan “Sister Shanti”, center director of Brahma Kumaris-Tagum; and “Building Peace in Mindanao”, by Lilian Mellejor, Philippine News Agency-Davao Bureau chief who works with the communications team of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
Other topics dealt with during the forum was “Maximizing the Benefits of ASEAN for the Youth” but only the ASEAN and Trade and Business Opportunities for the Youth was discussed during the event by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Davao del Norte Provincial Director Romeo Castanaga who is also the country head of Small and Medium Entrepreneur (SME) Working Group for Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
“Understanding Violent Extremism and Efforts to Counter it” was also among the key topics and discussed by Col Glen Jun C. Calambuhay, assistant chief of Unified Command Staff for Civil Military Operations (U7) of Eastern Mindanao Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The forum gathered the special participation of Tagumenyo Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSYEAP) Alumni Reymond Pepito who shared information about the “ASEAN Youth Leaders Declaration Statement”, and 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army commander, Major General Noel S. Clement who addressed the Closing Program.
In his inspiration message, PIA Regional Director Efren F. Elbanbuena counted on the youths to become instrument s of building peace in their respective communities and he encouraged them to make the most of the opportunities in ASEAN.
In an interview, Youth for Peace Movement Eastern Mindanao President Kenneth Tagaro pointed out the need for the ASEAN to set up a permanent committee that will provide a desk to immediately serve concerns of the youths.
“Nararapat na mabigyang kaukulang pansin ang mga kabataan ng ASEAN,” he said.
Among the participating youth organizations were Youth for Peace Movement, Hugpong Kabataang Tagumenyos, Supreme Student Council, Supreme Student Government, Diocesan Youth Apostolate-Tagum, Tagum City Federation of Muslim Youth Organizations, Tagum City IP Youth Organization, 4H Club of Tagum, PYAP- Tagum City, ALS- OSY (Alternative Learning System-Out of School Youth) Organization. (PIA 11/ Jeanevive D. Abangan)