THE National Youth Commission (NYC) on Tuesday, August 15, highlighted the importance of engaging the Filipino youth in the efforts of the Duterte administration to achieve lasting peace in the country.
In a press briefing in Malacañan, NYC Chairperson Aiza Seguerra announced the Commission’s request to be part of Task Force Bangon Marawi, an inter-agency unit created for the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of Marawi City and other affected localities.
“I think it’s very important na magkaroon po ng youth lens ang rehabilitation. Ika nga… ‘pag sinabing ‘rehabilitation,’ sana hindi lang po ma-focus sa infra, dun sa mga bagay na mahahawakan natin,” Seguerra said.
“Pero I think… mas essential po ang rehabilitation ng kaluluwa. Mas essential ang rehabilitation ng psychosocial ng mga kabataan natin ngayon. Because like what the manifesto said, ayaw po natin ma-turn sila ulit,” Seguerra said, referring to the Youth Manifesto for Just and Lasting Peace presented at the 2017 International Youth Day Celebration in Iligan City on August 13.
The manifesto called for the integration of peace education in all schools, including alternative learning institutions, indigenous schools, and madaris.
According to Seguerra, they have yet to receive formal invitation to join the Task Force.
“We got an email — not really a formal invitation yet, but the email would suffice. Pinapapunta kami to Marawi to check out the evacuation centers,” the NYC chair said.
In addition, Seguerra said NYC is working closely with Office of the Bangsamoro Youth Affairs.
“Para siyempre, magkaroon din ng aspeto na… May mga bagay kaming hindi alam because of culture tungkol sa ating mga Bangsamoro youth. So we are working closely with them also,” Seguerra said.
During the press briefing, the NYC official cited the importance of the youth’s involvement in governance, noting that Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections should push through this year.
“So kami po ang hinahabol po namin dito ay representation. It is very important na may representation ng kabataan hanggang sa ating mga barangay,” Seguerra said.
“So sana po, kung ayaw nilang ituloy ang barangay, maintindihan namin. Pero sana, kahit ‘yung SK naman, sana ‘yung SK ibigay na po sa amin. It’s been years,” Seguerra added.
The House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms has approved a bill postponing the SK polls to next year.
“And if ang fear nila ay mangyari ‘yung mga dating kinatatakutan nilang mangyari, that’s why there is a reform. Binago na po ang SK ngayon. Please give SK a chance,” the NYC chair added.
Seguerra, however, clarified that whether or not the SK elections will take place this year, the NYC will ensure that the youth will be properly represented in the affairs of the government.
“And ang maganda naman po kahit papaano ay through the LYDOs, we will be able to roll out all these programs and policies,” Seguerra said, adding that barangay development on youth has been established.