To empower the youth to stand up and stand strong.
This was the main goal of the Cebu Provincial Government, through the Provincial Youth Commission (PYC), as it organized the first ever congress for the youth, held last October 7 to 9, at the Montebello Villa Hotel.
PYC head Charlton James Canoy said the Provincial Youth Congress is part of the Capitol’s efforts to engage the youth in participatory governance.
“Among gipang-lantawan nga ang atoang mga kabatan-onan sa Sugbo magpakabana, mulihok ug manginlabot, sa mga issues sa katilingban,” said Canoy.
In order to achieve such goal, several trainings and workshops were lined-up, which the 300 youth participants from all over Cebu eagerly took part of.
In line with Gov. Hilario P. Davide III’s efforts to prioritize care for the environment and disaster preparedness, there were workshops on solid waste management, as well as trainings on various skills like applying first aid, basic rope rescue and basic self-defense.
There were also discussions on improvised explosive device, bomb threat awareness and public safety in times of insurgency. Lectures on responsible use of social media, and skills enhancement and personality development were also given.
The congress’ activities revolved on the theme “Nagkahiusang Kabatan-onan: Sa Drogas Mulikay, sa Kalikupan Mubantay, ug sa Katalagman Mulahutay”.
Participants came from six sectors, namely: in-school, community-based, working, out-of-school youth, religious, and youths with special needs.
One of the participants, Mcguyver Deen Pilago, 20, of Alcoy, stressed the importance of implementing programs well, especially in their respective communities.
“As Cebuano youths, our challenge now is how to implement the right programs for the right problems. In Alcoy, we are pushing for the grassroots program wherein the problems in every barangay down to every sitio are identified,” Pilago said.
“The Cebuano youths are empowered now and I dream for them to be more empowered. In this way, we can all achieve what is really ‘Kalambuan sa Matag Sugbuanon’,” Pilago added.
Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale, during her speech, urged the youth to empower themselves more as she stressed on their crucial role in nation-building.
“Your sector is vital as any other in the context of nation-building. We consider you as part of the overall development agenda of the provincial government,” Magpale said.
Welfare of the Youth, Participatory Government
During the congress, Davide highlighted the importance of the establishment of local youth development offices (LYDO) in the province.
“We continue to enjoin our local chief executives to create a local youth development office, to develop and carry out programs and projects that would promote the welfare of the youth and the society in general,” Davide said.
Under the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2017-36, local government units are mandated to establish their respective local youth development offices.
Currently, Cebu has 12 LYDOs in the cities of Mandaue, Bogo, Danao, Carcarm Talisay, and the municipalities of Sta. Fe, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Sogod, Argao, San Fernando, and Tudela.
The congress concluded with inputs from participants on what issues they want to be addressed and how they can contribute in solving these problems.
PYC plans to hold a Provincial Youth Summit next month, where inputs from this congress’ assessment will be presented to municipal mayors, provincial board members, and Capitol department heads.
Rhea Peñaflor, National Youth Commissioner for the Visayas, said that it is important to align all programs for the youth.
“There is a need to anchor our youth programs in the Provincial Youth Development Plan 2017-2022. This is the reason why we are going to the regions in the Visayas para ma-localize ang mga need ng mga LGUs,” said Peñaflor.
The event was graced by First Lady of Cebu province, Mrs. Jobella Angan-Davide, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office head Marivic Garces, and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office head Baltazar Tribunalo.