BACOLOD CITY, (PNA) — Government officials and religious leaders in Negros Occidental led Negrenses from various sectors in calling for peace and unity to bring progress for the province and the country.
“There can never be progress if there is no peace,” Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said before a crowd of more than a thousand during the International Day of Peace program held at Negros Occidental Multi-purpose Activity Center (NOMPAC) here Friday night.
The governor also urged the youth to strive for peace not only in words but also in actions.
Col. Jon Aying, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, said the government is doing its best to achieve sustainable peace and development to protect the well-being of the people and to promote internal socio-political stability.
Senior Supt. Milko Lirazan, acting director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO), lauded the students for joining the activity for one common cause and encouraged them to pray for peace.
Bacolod City Administrator Rolando Villamor, who came in behalf of Mayor Monico Puentevella, also appealed for unity and peace among Bacolodnons and Negrenses.
Part of the program was a candle lighting and prayer rites. The prayers were led by religious leaders from the Diocese of Bacolod, Diocese of Negros Occidental Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches, United Church of Christ of the Philippines, Seventh Day Adventist and Dar-Al-Dhikr Islamic Center.
The ceremony ended with a pledge for peace, community singing, and releasing of peace lanterns.
Friday night’s activity is part of the events organized by the provincial government of Negros Occidental to mark the National Peace Consciousness Month this September.
The month-long observance seeks to encourage the involvement of Negrenses in the peace process and to renew their desire toward achieving lasting peace through different peace-building activities.
The Peace Month celebration will be capped with a peace forum and signing of manifesto, and the awarding of guns for peace on September 30 at the Capitol Social Hall.