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Monday, July 21, 2008

30 Young Leaders Undergo Interfaith Program in the Philippines

The 2008 YLPThirty young leaders--12 Muslims, 10 Christians and 8 indigenous peoples (IPs)-- from all over the country participated in the 2008 Young Leaders Program (YLP).

The 2008 YLP was jointly conducted by the Defense Management Institute (DMI) of the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) and the Australian Embassy in Manila.

From 17 to 24 June 2008, the participants traveled to Quezon City, Cagayan de Oro City and Marawi City to meet with high-level government officials, religious leaders and distinguished experts from the academe. The 8-day YLP was designed to expose participants to the challenges of and opportunities for development and peace-building and to encourage them to fulfill their distinct leadership roles.

During the YLP formal launch at the Richmonde Hotel, Secretary of National Defense Gilberto C Teodoro told participants, “Your first task is to debate over the course of the program, to exchange ideas and distill whatever you learned from that debate. We expect you to build mutual respect and to be lifelong partners.”

Secretary Teodoro said, “Your second task is to execute your vision.”

Recognizing the importance of inculcating leadership values and the real sense of being a true Filipino leader, the 2008 YLP comes as a congruent effort of the government and the youth sector to harness the potential of the youth in handling higher-level state affairs.

“Focusing on the principles of good governance and the rule of law, the YLP aims to promote understanding among religious and ethnic groups as a means of resolving conflicts” said NDCP President, Commo Carlos L Agustin AFP (Ret).

Participants were required to accomplish a two-year project to promote interfaith dialogue in their respective communities and organizations. The DMI will monitor the progress of their projects.

The 2008 YLP is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Embassy in Manila.

“The Australian Government is pleased to support this initiative which forms part of our efforts to help the Philippines develop the skills sets of future leaders and also to promote awareness of interfaith dialogue as a means of managing and resolving conflict,” Ambassador Rod Smith said.

The 2008 YLP Fellows were Almani Abubacar of the Lanao Youth Consultancy, Abulkhair Alibasa from the Bangsamoro Successor Generation Network-Lanao, Carmina Almonte of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Jun Mark Amban, Reynaldo Banggos, Jaime Latoza and Zaidali Maguindra of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Saudi Ampatuan of the Municipality of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Noraya Bauindaali and Christine Sumog-oy of the Mindanao Peoples’ Caucus, Cathy Bariga, Rajib Bubong and Amer Rashid Mindalano of the Mindanao State University, Ronilo Bating of the Free Methodist Church, Geraldine Joy Bringas of the Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Governance, Amanah Lao of the Circle of United Teens, Roland Lavisto of the Philippine National Police Academy, Reynante Ma-ao of the Philippine Military Academy, Amer Hussain Macapaar of the Department of Transportation and Communications Telephone Office, Sanny Maglente of the Provincial Government of Masbate, Shaid-Ali Mohamad of the Panday Kalinaw, Inc., Matabai Mustapha of the Balay Rehabilitation Center, Tala Nool of the 4th Infantry Division, Cathy Penuela of the West Visayas State University Paula Plaza of the Office of Congressman Plaza, Camalbasa Ramalan of the City Government of Marawi, Rosanna Sambile of the Bukidnon State University, Manuel Jeffrey Sistoso of the University of St. La Salle, Myron Gil Talosig of the Office of Congressman Chungalao and Jessie Villamore Viloria II of the Office for Defense Reform.

Participants visited the Office of Executive Secretary Eduardo R Ermita in Manila, the Office of National Security Adviser Norberto B Gonzales in Quezon City, the 103rd Infantry Brigade and the Provincial Capitol of Lanao del Sur in Marawi City and the 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro City.

Lecture-based sessions were conducted at the NDCP, inside Camp Gen Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City, and at the MSU in Marawi City.

The distinguished line up of YLP 2008 resource persons include National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Lead Convenor Sec Domingo F Panganiban, UP School of Economics Professor Solita C Monsod, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Deputy Director General for Operations and Support Services Dr William G Padolina, Gawad Kalinga Director Mr Tony Meloto, NDCP Vice President for Academics Dr Nestor N Pilar, OTi Philippines Managing Director Mr Romulo S Romero, Manila Bulletin Columnist Erik Miguel R Espina MNSA and Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners President Commissioner Arrieta Magno MNSA.

The following also shared their insights: National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP) Legal Officer Atty Basilio A Wandag, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairperson Vilma L Labrador, GRP Negotiating Panel Chairman with the MILF Rodolfo C Garcia, Ms Marites Vitug of Newsbreak, Director for Cooperative Movement for Encouraging NSV Dr Jonathan David A Flavier, National Youth Commission’s Raul Dominic Bobadilla, Department of Education (DepEd) Senior Policy Adviser Gerry L Sy, Ms Nova Navo from the Office of Senator Madrigal, Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy (PCID) Lead Convenor Ms Amina Rasul, 4th Infantry Division Commanding General BGen Ricardo A David and 103rd Infantry Brigade Commander Col Reynaldo C Ardo PA.

Participants met with religious leaders and experts on Mindanao including Bishop Edwin dela Peña and Bishop Hilario Gomez of the Bishops Ulama Conference, Marawi State University (MSU) Prof Sandiman Lomala and Dr Salipada Tamano, Muslim League Worl Council Member Aleem Elias Macarandas, Executive Director of the Office on Muslim Affairs Hon Datu Ali B Sangki, UP Institute for Islamic Studies Dean Mashur BG Jundam, Paglas Corporation Chief Executive Officer/President Datu Toto Paglas, and Eliana Lindongan Multipurpose Cooperative Chairman Datu Abdul Rashid Macala.

The 2008 YLP sponsors include the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Department of Tourism (DOT), Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur, City Government of Marawi and the Office of Congressman Rodolfo Plaza of Agusan del Sur.

For further information, visit the NDCP Website at www.ndcp.edu. ph. (Ma Charisse E Gaud)

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