549th Engineering "Kapayapaan" Battalion leads this Semester's Final FPE101 Learning Visit

#MSUMag | Concluding the last learning visit of this semester’s offering of the Fundamentals of Peace Education, the 54th Engineer Brigade under the leadership of BGEN Randy F. Fajilagutan, and the 549th Engineering “Kapayapaan” Battalion  headed by their Commanding Officer, LTC Donald C Hugo. The activity was held on January 23, 2023 at Camp Siongco, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

On his message addressed to the FPE101 students, LTC Hugo highlighted his administration’s mantra, “Helping the People, Building Communities” which is anchored to his principles of leading the Engineer Brigade summarized to an acronym, P.E.A.C.E. He also mentioned his passion to contribute in the entire peacebuilding process and bring his entire brigade in different civic engagement activities including activities with academic institutions.

Ms. Jojie Campugan, the outgoing IPDM Peace Education Coordinator, discussed the rationale of the Learning Visit– that it aims to provide experiental, grassroots and reality based approach in honing student peacebuilders and conflict resolvers.

The Outgoing IPDM Director, Prof. Grant Warren D. Lu, expressed his gratitude to LTC Hugo and his company for opening the doors of the battalion to the FPE101 students. He also mentioned the need for collaboration in multiplying peace programs in the Region. Director Lu also thanked Chancellor Limbona for her support to the 4 learning visits conducted by the IPDM and FPE101 faculty. Among the key takeaways from his message is the need to do more peace works because of the current socio-political landscape in the region.

Captain Gilbert Nozal, the Head of the Personnel Services, and 1LT Hock Guan De Leon, the Civil Military Operations Officer, led the presentation of the different peace programs of the battalion. They presented their programs that provide housing units to the former rebels in Senator Ninoy Aquino and their several engagements with the MILF communities.

The students were very participative during the open forum. One of them asked on the programs of the military sector which focus on the mental health of the soldiers who are assigned in conflict situations and those who are far from their families. Cpt. Nozal highlighted their intra and inter-faith which served as banner programs under LTC Hugo’s administration, he mentioned that these programs help address emotional plights of the soldier engineers.

After the open forum, the students, faculty, and soldier engineers shared food through a boodle flight, and proceed directly to the Camp Tour which exposed students to the actual work of the Engineer Brigade.

1LT Hock De Leon delivered a closing message highlighting the significance of patriotism and service to Filipino communities.

Among the present faculty members are Dr. Naima Pendi, Dr. Kamlon Kayama, Prof. Alibai Unsi, Mr. Laniel Ryan P. Untong, Mr. Abdulnasser Omar, Ms. Honey Grace Magsayo, Ms. Bai Jasslyn Ali, Ms. Farissa Abas, Ms. Juriebel Bagundang, and Ms. Indira Alon. The University Peace Club also extended their service as facilitators of the activity.