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NTF-ELCAC, CEAP meet to discuss partnership on promoting peace

30 June 2024

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) met recently to discuss possible partnership on the promotion of peace and development in line with the government's efforts to prevent infiltration of violent extremism ideology to young students in schools.

The dialogue was held last Wednesday (June 26, 2024) at the NTF-ELCAC headquarters in Malacañang Park.

Undersecretary Ernesto Torres Jr., the task force's executive director, said the dialogue aimed to foster mutual understanding and collaboration between the two organizations.

Torres and his team led by Director Jose Descallar, Director of Stakeholders Engagement, welcomed CEAP President, Fr. Albert Delvo, and his delegation from the CEAP National Office and COCOPEA (Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines).

“We look forward to a stronger and meaningful relationship with CEAP. The NTF-ELCAC will be closely collaborating with them, discuss with them relevant social issues related to peace and development vis-a-vis the government's fight against violent extremism that resulted in acts of terrorism. We are honored to be accepted by CEAP as a partner for unity, peace, and development,” said Torres.

The dialogue provided a platform for both organizations to share their respective mandates and programs.

The NTF-ELCAC presented its “whole-of-nation approach”, as outlined in Executive Order 70, emphasizing its commitment to addressing the challenges facing Philippine society through collaborative efforts.

CEAP, in turn, emphasized its commitment to providing high-quality education and promoting holistic development among Filipino students.

The discussion looked into the core causes of poverty and inequality, and how extremist groups might exploit these issues to recruit members.

The NTF-ELCAC reaffirmed their commitment to tackling the underlying problems and preventing vulnerable populations from being exploited.

In recognizing the importance of addressing these issues, Delvo assured the task force that Catholic institutions do not engage in recruitment for armed groups and strongly condemn violence.

He underscored the role of Catholic schools in cultivating critical thinking and empowering students to analyze social issues such as injustice, corruption, and human rights violations.

The dialogue ended with a pledge to work together for a more peaceful and prosperous Philippines.

Both NTF-ELCAC and CEAP reiterated their dedication to promoting inclusive development and addressing the fundamental drivers of conflict, recognizing the pivotal role of education and dialogue in achieving sustainable peace.

CEAP, established in 1941, represents approximately 1,500 Catholic educational institutions nationwide, playing a significant role in Philippine education. ###


Ref: Joel M. Sy Egco



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