/ 12 January 2023

VICE PRESIDENT and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio said that guidance from parents and providing quality education will limit the vulnerability of the youth to terrorism.

In a speech during the 83rd founding anniversary of Koronadal City in South Cotabato that also coincided with the 23rd Hinugyaw Festival, Duterte-Carpio said her agency is working on a curriculum that will help the youth from falling into communist recruitment.

“DepEd is also working hard to design a national peace curriculum — our long-term solution to insurgency and conflict in our country. Our goal is to equip our children and youth with conflict transformation skills and the strength and discernment to resist recruitment into radical and terror groups,” Duterte-Carpio said.

“Education is a liberating force. I cannot overemphasize to all the adults here in Koronadal— we must force our children to go to school. The Department of Education is implementing a stronger child protection mechanism in our school communities — another layer of defense against the recruitment and exploitation of children and youth,” she said.

The Vice President said that the key to sustaining progress is to protect peace and ensure education among future leaders.

Duterte-Carpio, who described Koronadal as “the melting pot of cultures in southern Mindanao,” also acknowledged the city for its pursuit of building a better community for its people.

“It has gone a long way and is now a thriving hub that has earned its place as the 3rd Most Resilient Component City during the recognition of the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index last year,” she said.

However, the Vice President said development comes with hurdles, and that “we cannot overlook the challenges that may blight our path to progress.”

“One of them is terrorism and the continued recruitment of our vulnerable youth to radical and violent groups. We can no longer count the lives lost to bombings in and around Mindanao, the damage to public and private properties, the fear and the business opportunities lost due to these terror attacks,” she said.

“While our government armed forces are working hard to weed out these groups and keeping civilian Filipinos safe, we must ensure that we do our share to protect our peace and order and keep our communities free from fear and violence,” she added.