Peace 911


The Paquibato district of Davao City in the Philippines has suffered from the decades-old violence caused by the communist rebel groups seeking to overthrow the government.

Paquibato covers almost a third of the area of Davao City and many adults from the area talk about not knowing anything else but violent conflict since the 1960s when the country was placed under Marcos’ martial law in response to the insurgency, a period that saw atrocities committed by both the military and the New People’s Army.

In 2019, Davao City mayor formed the Davao City Advisory Committee on Peace and Development to respond to the issue through local peacebuilding. The committee consulted with the 14 barangays, or villages, to listen to the concerns of the community to discover that locals were hungry and fearful.

The committee launched an emergency response to address these immediate issues, and subsequently labelled the programme Peace 911.

How Positive Peace was implemented:

The Peace 911 project firstly addressed the critical issue of hunger by bringing basic services to the local villages. Twice a month, a caravan of services visited the 14 barangays with representatives from agencies responsible for health, agriculture, legal services, social services, education, cooperatives, civil registry, land transportation and other areas. These city agencies worked actively with the local officials to provide services for the community, which contributed to more Equal Distribution of Resources, one of the eight Pillars of Positive Peace.

The project arranged training in container gardening for women in the community, which enabled them to grow organic vegetables for their families and provided a small income through the sale of vegetables to neighbours. This element of the programme applies the High Levels of Human Capital and Sound Business Environment Pillars of Positive Peace by supporting economic development and advancing the human capital base by teaching new skills.

The most profound element of the Peace 911 project was the telephone hotline. Project administrators created a hotline for local residents to call for assistance or information. This was a simple communication tool to improve Free Flow of Information, however also had the unintended, but positive consequence of allowing 92 insurgence to safely and peacefully surrender and lay down their arms.


Within nine months of the Peace 911 project, the military declared Paquibato clear of the communist insurgency, an extraordinary outcome. In early 2019, the Mayor of Davao City, Sara Duterte-Carpio, declared an end to the emergency in Paquibato district, an area that for more than 40 years had been wracked by violent conflict.

The eight Pillars of Positive Peace were then translated into the local language Cebauno/Bisaya and are used as a conceptual foundation for local projects. All barangay halls will display the Walo Ka Haligi sa Kalinaw (the 8 Pillars of Peace) prominently.

Furthermore, Mayor Sara announced that Peace 911 will now expand to another 18 barangays in five districts of the city, bringing the total to 32 barangays.