Students, youth leaders, and young professionals from different schools and youth organizations took part in celebrating the International Youth Day 2016, which was themed “Road to 2030: Eradicating poverty and sustainable consumption and production.” The event was held in the American Corner Library of Ateneo de Davao University last Aug. 12.
This year’s International Youth Day focused on achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It highlighted the leading role of the youth in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable consumption and production.
Since this event aimed to foster friendship and collaboration among the youth leaders and to learn more about ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns, those who were present shared their advocacies and their take on the most pressing issues that involve the youth and their suggested solutions to those issues.
The other proponents of the said event were the United States Government Alumni Association (USGAA) of Davao, the 11th National Youth Parliament of Region X1, and the Rotary Club of Davao.
The said event officially began with Isaiah Shallom Baluso, a National Youth Parliament (NYP) XI delegate and the University Student Council (USC) Councilor for Public Relations from the University of the Philippines (UP) -Mindanao, as the master of the ceremony.
Julius Gutierrez, the officer-in-charge of Davao City for the National Youth Commission (NYC), began with a lecture on the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Act of 2015.
Gutierez explained some changes in the SK, such as the age requirements when one would like to run for the said body, which was changed from 15-17 years old to 18-24 years old. He also explained its privileges and grounds of suspension and removal from offices once one would be officially elected in the SK.
It was initially planned that during the said event, the participants would take part in the live-streaming of the SK Festival, but this did not push through due to technical difficulties.
Keinne Ross Tripoli, an alumna from UP Mindanao in both undergraduate and master’s degree programs, shared that she looked forward to the SK reforms.
“Sana ma-enlighten ang lahat at maglevel-up ang implementations for the SK and the government,” she expressed.
Kenny Lloyd Angon, the secretary-general of the Mindanaoan Youth Development Center Inc. (MYDCI) for Davao City, explained the role of the NYP, which is not just a policy-making body, but an organization that pursues these policies in the local government and hold different activities for the youth.
He also stressed that the real problem that must be solved is the sustainability of the projects being implemented. He suggested that instead of dwelling on several issues all at once, focus must be put on fewer issues while digging deeper into it.
As for the sharing of the most pressing issues that concerns the youth today, topics such as the out-of-school youth, lack of appreciation of culture and arts, and the mental health of the youth were discussed upon by the attendees.
The guest speaker for the event, Ferdinand Ibañez Marañon, the former president of the Rotary Club of Davao, expressed that the most pressing problem was the productivity and sustainability of the projects being implemented by the government.
According to him, the problem with the youth today was that most young people do not mind what is happening in the surroundings. He reminded the young leaders to be mindful on one’s neighbors and to set an example of prudency.
He further explained that despite the richness of the country in terms of natural resources, 40% of the state’s population is poor.
He also explained that the youth today do not want to become farmers and that it is the reason why most Filipinos today have inadequate meals.
He emphasized that the balancing factor in life is education and reminded those present to study and strive hard so that one could get far in life and contribute to society.
“If you are educated, at least maangat kayo sa status in life niyo kahit papano,” he said.
Later on, some delegates of the said event proceeded to a Badjao Community in Matina Aplaya for a community immersion.