The Manila Bulletin reported that despite the continued threats of violent extremism and terrorism in many parts of the Philippines, hundreds of young leaders representing indigenous groups, Christian and Muslim communities, and other backgrounds mobilized in a powerful showcase of peace through the Panaghiusa Grand Peace Conference, held at the Tagum City Historical and Cultural Center.


Funded by the European Union and supported by the Kofi Annan Foundation; the nonprofit organization, Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library; and the local government unit of Tagum City, the grand conference was the culminating activity of the Extremely Together Philippines-Panaghiusa (ET Philippines) program, which aimed to prevent violent extremism and promote peace through youth leadership in the Philippines.


“Violent extremism is like a pandemic that we can cure through unity and education. This is why we are working to educate, empower and inspire young people to become peace-builders, who can strengthen the resistance of their fellow youth against terrorism,” shared Paula Gendrano, co-project lead of ET Philippines.


“We are celebrating the accomplishments of the ET Philippines program since we launched in 2020. This is a milestone we’re sharing with our partner youth leaders from Tagum City, Zamboanga City, Marawi City, Luzon and other areas where we’ve held our activities. At the same time, it is a call to action to strengthen the unified efforts of young Filipinos towards peace as we face the challenges of the pandemic, poverty, inequality, and more,” Gendrano added.