By Roy Mabasa
The Philippines on Wednesday welcomed Indonesia’s offer to share its best practices in Islamic education in an effort to address and prevent extremism not just in the country but in the rest of Southeast Asia.
“Indonesia is one of the models for the kind of Islamic education that the Philippines and ASEAN can look into to counter the rise of extremism,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.
According to Cayetano, the Philippines has an existing Memorandum of Understanding with Indonesia on Education and is currently in talks with Jakarta on another Memorandum of Understanding on Islamic Education.
“Our Indonesian friends do not want to see another Marawi happening and are offering to help us counter radicalization through education,” he said.
The DFA chief said the Philippines is looking forward to working not only with Indonesia but also with other like-minded Islamic countries in defeating the threat posed by extremist groups.
The offer, according to the DFA, was among the initiatives taken up during the tripartite meetings against extremism held last year in Manila among the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
It said the DFA will continue to engage and collaborate with Indonesia on the Islamic education initiative which shall be undertaken by the Department of Education.