BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
PROCLAMATION NO. 675
DECLARING THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 2004 AND EVERY YEAR THEREAFTER AS “NATIONAL PEACE CONSCIOUSNESS MONTH”
WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 3, s. 2001, mandates the continuing pursuit of a comprehensive peace process along six major peace-making and peace-building components, otherwise known as the Six Paths to Peace, to wit:
• Pursuit of social, economic and political reforms to address the root causes of armed conflicts and social unrest;
• Consensus-building and empowerment for peace through consultations and people participation;
• Peaceful, negotiated settlement with different rebel groups and the effective implementation of peace agreements;
• Programs for reconciliation, reintegration into mainstream society and rehabilitation of former rebels and their communities;
• Addressing concerns arising from continuing armed conflicts, such as the protection of non-combatants and the reduction of the impact of armed conflicts on communities; and
• Building and nurturing a climate conducive to peace through peace education and advocacy programs and confidence-building measures.
WHEREAS, there is a need to instill greater consciousness and understanding among the Filipino people on the comprehensive peace process to strengthen and sustain institutional and popular support for and participation in this effort, as well as in the global movement spearheaded by the United Nations to promote a Culture of Peace based on nonviolence, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, tolerance, understanding and solidarity;
WHEREAS, Proclamation No. 161 dated February 28, 2002 specifically addresses the above concern by way of an annual observance of a National Peace Consciousness Week from February 28 to March 6;
WHEREAS, there is a need to reset the period of observance of the National Peace Consciousness Week to September of every year to allow more active participation from the citizenry and institutions, including educational institutions, as well as to expand the week-long celebration to a period of one month;
WHEREAS, the month of September holds several significant milestones in the history of pursuing the peace process in the country, some of which are as follows:
• Creation of the National Unification Commission, through Executive Order No. 19 issued on September 1, 1992, which undertook nationwide consultations in 1992–1993 to lay the foundations of the Philippine Government’s agenda for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace;
• Issuance of Executive Order No. 125 in September 15, 1993 by then Pres. Fidel V. Ramos which provided for the administrative and policy structure to pursue the NUC-proposed comprehensive peace process agenda, including the creation of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process;
• Signing of a Final Peace Agreement by the Philippine Government and the Moro National Liberation Front on September 2, 1996; and
• Signing of a Peace Pact, or “Sipat” by the Philippine Government and the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army on September 13, 1986.
WHEREAS, the month of September has international significance relative to the global advocacy for peace because of activities such as:
• Annual observance of the United Nations’ International Day of Peace on September 21;
• Launching of the 2001–2010 International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World on September 19, 2000; and
• Commemoration of the September 11, 2001 terrorist bombings in the United States of America which roused not only the world, but the Philippines as well, to take firm action against the horrors of international and domestic terrorism.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare the month of September 2004 and every year thereafter as “National Peace Consciousness Month.”
All concerned Government agencies and instrumentalities, including local government units, government-owned and controlled corporations, as well as members of the private sector and civil society groups, are hereby enjoined and encouraged to initiate and participate in relevant and meaningful activities in celebration of the National Peace Consciousness Month to instill greater consciousness and understanding among the Filipino people of the comprehensive peace process and the Culture of Peace agenda.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) shall be the lead Government agency to coordinate and monitor the observance of the National Peace Consciousness Month.
This Proclamation supersedes Proclamation No. 161, series of 2002. All other executive issuances, orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with this Proclamation are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 20th day of July, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Four.
(Sgd.) GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO