October 4, 2020 (4:06 PM)

2 min read


BETTER NORMAL. Free Legal Assistance Group human rights lawyer Atty. Chel Diokno, among other well-known politicians, and media representatives join in the 1st Lead PH National Youth Summit, Layag Pilipinas, giving talks to enlighten the youth about the current state of the country and implementing better leadership in work. Screenshot by Gwyn Kelly Lobitos

Recognizing the role of the youth in redefining a post-pandemic Philippines, esteemed speakers of Layag Pilipinas: 1st Lead PH National Youth Summit, held last October 2-3 via Zoom, urged the participants to create a “better normal” amid the pandemic.

Vice President Leni Robredo, Free Legal Assistance Group human rights lawyer Atty. Chel Diokno, and Ignite Impact Fund principal and co-founder Ma. Antonio Arroyo emphasized that it is not enough to settle for the new normal but aim for a “better normal.”

“Why not go back to normal? Because the normal wasn’t working,” Arroyo said, stressing on the economic disparity, and the “oligarchipelago” setting of the country.

Diokno then noted that a better normal entails a more peaceful, decent, and better governance, without the persistence of a “double standard justice” system.

“You don’t need to be empowered; what you just need your voices heard… We don’t have to give you a voice because you already have a voice,” he addressed the youth participants, saying that their dedication, determination, drive and idealism will eventually spark change.

Meanwhile, Robredo, in her pre-recorded message, emphasized the need for more “trail blazers and change makers” towards a better normal.

“There is no better way… than to move outward and forward,” she said.

Presenting the plight of transport workers, Youth, Transport Workers, and Laborers Secretary-General Reycel Hyacenth Bendaña said that it is an imperative to work with people even if you don’t like them to lobby the changes you want to make.

On the other hand, TV personalities Bianca Gonzalez-Intal and Gretchen Ho shared ways in creating impact beyond influence.

“You chose to be leaders. And that choice comes with a responsibility,” she said.

Besides Robredo, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, Senator Grace Poe, and President Rodrigo Duterte also sent their pre-recorded messages to the event.

Davao de Oro Governor Tyron Uy, Equal Access International training coordinator Brian Adam Anay, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, GoodGovPH founder Dexter Yang, Philippine Army Spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala, ASEAN youth biodiversity leader Cirilo Lagnason, Jr. and Bangsamoro Transition Authority member of the parliament Zia Alonto Adiong also graced the event.

Almost 250 students from different parts of the Philippines participated in Layag Pilipinas: 1st Lead PH National Youth Summit, a two-day virtual convention organized by AdDU political party PIGLASAPAT, tackling leadership in various fields such as business, health, and public governance.

End the silence of the gagged!

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