MSU-Maguindanao's Peace Program Initiatives and Vision Discussed in Exploratory Meeting with Irene M. Santiago

#MSUMagAt50 | Mindanao State University – Maguindanao (MSU-Maguindanao) officials had an exploratory discussion with Irene M. Santiago on March 8, 2024 in Davao City. Ms. Santiago is a member of the peace negotiating panel and the first chair of the peace implementing panel of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

In addition to her contributions to the Bangsamoro peace agreement, Ms. Santiago is known internationally for her roles as the executive director of the historical NGO Forum on Women in China in 1995 and as the chief of the Asia/Pacific section at the UN Development Fund for Women in New York. She also served as the peace adviser to Vice President Sara Duterte during her tenure as Mayor of Davao City, providing strategic advice for the local peacebuilding process known as “Peace 911.”

The discussion focused on ongoing initiatives such as the Diploma program on Women, Peace, and Security, a certificate program on Youth and Development Work, and the potential offering of a PhD in Peace Studies. Director Lu emphasized the university’s goal of becoming the National Peace University through its efforts in peace education, research, and community services. Dr. Badrudin Abdul presented the draft curriculum for the PhD in Peace Studies, highlighting its unique features and focus on conflict transformation.

Irene M. Santiago praised the university’s peacebuilding initiatives and emphasized the importance of clearly articulating MSU’s vision for the Bangsamoro region. She suggested areas for focus, including a better understanding of social transformation concepts and the need for programs to influence political and practical changes for meaningful social impact.

This exploratory discussion reflects the Chancellor’s commitment to enhancing the university’s peace programs for its stakeholders and its aspiration to become THE National Peace University.

In attendance were VCAA Marissa N. Parcon, EdD-ELT, Institute for Peace and Development Director, Prof. Grant Warren D. Lu, Dean Badrudin Abdul of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dean Joel C. Arenas of the College of Education together with other faculty members.