Tacloban City—Tingog Sinirangan Party-list convened around 70 youth leaders of Tacloban and Leyte to craft the youth agenda for Eastern Visayas.
Tingog-Kabataan, the youth arm of Tingog Sinirangan Party-list, organized Youth Voice Forum 2016: Be Heard and Take Action on March 5 at the Invictus Community Center, Tacloban City.
“We want to know the youth’s thoughts, ideas and concerns so we can develop them into a concrete course of action. If the youth are part of the design, it is easy for them to be part of the implementation. We want a youth agenda that truly reflects the young generation, thus it has to come from the youth,” said first nominee Jude Avorque Acidre.
Acidre also explained Tingog’s framework for positive youth development: “Our three core strategies for youth development are learn, lead and live. In learning, we want opportunity for the youth for human, intellectual, moral and social development. In leading, we want to enhance and empower young people for leadership, for them to discover their leadership potentials and their heart for others. To live, we want the youth to flourish in a flourishing community,” the nominee explained.
He further emphasized: “We are not engaging the youth to deliver services, we engage the young generation so that they can help us help them make the best version of themselves. We want the youth to contribute to the community. We’d like to shape young leaders who will serve as catalyst for social change and partners for regional development.”
During the forum, the participants formed issue groups: life and learning; leadership and politics; health and sexuality; and employment and entrepreneurship. Each group discussion was facilitated by the nominees of Tingog Sinirangan. In the workshop, the groups were tasked to come up with proposals for youth development.
After the workshop, the proposals for youth programs were presented. Val de los Santos of Philippine Junior Jaycees-Tacloban explained that for life and learning, they propose an alternative classroom learning experience to help out of school youth, working students and the indigenous young people of the region.
Quennie Jao of UPV Tacloban College Debate Society said that in terms of leadership and politics, youth representation is highly important. “We should educate the young people for them to be able to participate in governance. Our youth should be educated for them to attain their full potential. Since the youth is very inclined to technology, the best way to instill knowledge is to tap technology,” she explained.
According to a research conducted by the University of the Philippines Population Institute in 2014, the youth of the region are digitally wired. There are 66 percent who own a cellular phone and 42 percent use the Internet, 35 percent have a social networking account, and 33.5 percent own an e-mail account.
For health and sexuality of the youth, Gabriela Echevarria of UPVTC Debate Society, highlighted the pressing issues on HIV-AIDS, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and gender development. To address these issues, her group proposes stronger information dissemination to correct and curb misconceptions about HIV, rape, drug abuse and gender.
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