COTABATO CITY -- Youth leaders and peace advocates committed to build a culture of peace in the Bangsamoro region during the three-day "MasterPEACE: Bangsamoro Youth Model Parliament” that concluded here Saturday. 


"We want to contribute (to) the Bangsamoro once it is established so that the legislators can see that the youth have a place in all this," said 22-year-old Bryan Gonzales, a member of the National Society of Parliamentarians (NPS).


Gonzales joined 80 other Bangsamoro youth leaders in manifesting their commitment to peace-building efforts.


Ang maganda dito (summit), sa kabubuuan ng Bangsamoro region, represented ang lahat ng kabataan at naririnig ang kanilang boses (The good thing about this summit is that the youth sector of the entire Bangsamoro region is well-represented and their voices are heard)," he said.


The summit included a simulation program, in which the participants acted as district representatives, party representatives, and sectoral representatives under the prospective Bangsamoro Parliament.


The Bangsamoro youth discussed critical issues in peace-building as they crafted and deliberated on proposed bills at the committee level and plenary sessions.


"'Yung setup ng Bangsamoro Parliament is hard to facilitate because it is very different from Congress (The setup of the Bangsamoro Parliament is dificult to facilitate because it is very different from Congress),” Gonzales said. “At least dito nakikita namin kung ano 'yung mga pagkukulang, mga procedural issues na pwede ma-resolve, and mag-introduce ng reforms (At least in this simulation program, we can see which areas need improvement, what procedural issues need to be resolved, and what reforms we can introduce).”


One of the proposals made during the plenary session was the integration of conflict transformation and peace-building awareness through peace education in the Bangsamoro.


The proposed bills will be turned over to the Regional Legislative Assembly through Assemblywoman Irene P. Tillah.


During her remarks, Youth Peace Ambassador Farrah Ghodsinia encouraged her fellow youth leaders to be proactive in promulgating peace in their respective regions.


"They have to hear our voice and we have to make our voice known because this future community that we have, this future region, it is we who are going to live in it.


That is why we need to be active in achieving what we want to see," she said.


The "MasterPEACE: Bangsamoro Youth Model Parliament" is the third installment of the MasterPEACE series and is in line with the celebration of National Peace Consciousness Month every September.


It was spearheaded by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, co-organized by the Democratic Leadership and Active Civil Society Empowerment (DELACSE) Bangsamoro, a European Union-funded project implemented by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Philippines, and the Institute for Autonomy and Governance. It was done in partnership with the NPS. -- OPAPP press release