Two cities in Cebu Province successfully implemented the Unlad Kabataan Program (UKP) program for the out-of-school youth (OSY), according to Eppie N. Partosa, youth focal person of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7.
“City of Naga and Talisay City are very concrete examples for this program because they implemented the project well. Through this project, the talents and skills of the OSYs are discovered,” Partosa said.
UKP is a program of the DSWD together with Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), which aims to help the OSYs and other disadvantaged youth to become self-reliant, economically productive and socially responsible citizens able to contribute to the development of their family and community.
The unemployment of youth in the region has become an epidemic, ranking first among the problems faced by the youth today. This was identified by the presidents of the Regional Federation of Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (RFPYAP) in Central Visayas in a forum held last Sept. 4 and 5 at Golden Valley Hotel.
“The worst problem of the youth today is the unemployment; this problem should be given an immediate action by the government,” said by Daniel Cuda, PYAP President of Minglanilla, Cebu.
To address this problem, DSWD 7 partnered with the PSWDO to implement the UKP Program to guide and inspire the OSYs to be more active and to participate in the project in their respective communities.
“It is really hard to handle the OSYs in the community. You need to be more patient and ask assistance from the barangay officials to support their snacks during monthly meetings,” said Doniciano Alforque , youth development worker of the City Social Welfare and Development Office of the City of Naga.
He also said that through the assistance of PSWDO, they already conducted practical skills training program for the OSYs in the City of Naga, which include beauty care and basic spa services, candle making, basic electronics, and mobile phone repairs.
“In fact, there are trainees who already have their own business that made them successful entrepreneurs,” said by Alforque.
As of this year, there are 724 members of PYAP Naga City and 528 of that are active.
Meanwhile, Enrique Cabahug, PYAP president of Bohol, said that UKP program is helpful for the OSYs in their province. It gave them an opportunity to develop their skills and to be a role model for others.
“We have been given the opportunity to become role models of our community and help the out of school youth in our respective municipalities through our participation in this program,” Cabahug said.
The RFPYAP forum featured sharing of best practices from the different local government units, strengthening of the Unlad Kabataan Program (UKP), updating of the UKP Module enhancement, and action planning.
UKP will help the youth to engage in various activities that will promote social and economic development, such as food production, volunteer community service, health and nutrition, population awareness, protection and conservation of natural resources, and improvement of natural environment.