February 29, 2016 (11:40 AM)

3 min read


Led by AIESEC, the largest youth-run organization present in 124 countries, Youth-to-Government (Y2G) forums were held in different areas of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao last January.

Fifty percent of Filipinos constitute the youth, which makes their number significant in the May 2016 elections. Y2G aims to encourage the Filipino youth to be critical, solution-oriented and proactive such that they do not only use this as a basis in voting, but also develop the qualities themselves.

With the theme, “Elections 2016: Count Me In”, regional forums took on issues in Business and Economics, Health, Environment, Education and Employment, Education and Empowerment, and Peace that were each discussed by a speaker.

The forums also discussed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (USDGs) that served as the guidelines for delegates to come up with a ten-point agenda the country should focus on in 2016-2022.

In empowering Region XI’s youth last January 16 at the Almendras Gym in Davao City, different groups have come up with an agenda focusing on the following:


  • subsidize primary and secondary education more effectively
  • promotion of ASEAN integration in schools

Youth leadership

  • accessible leadership programs
  • youth leadership gatherings where indigenous people can participate
  • expansion of youth networks

Environmental awareness

  • amendment of the Mining Act of 1995 for transparency and increasing shares for local government units (LGUs)
  • ban ‘kaingin’ and strengthen LGUs by increasing budget and PNP support
  • implementation of environmental awareness programs
  • maintenance/ monitoring of eco programs
  • stricter implementation of environmental laws

Reproductive health

  • public awareness and advocacies for reproductive health


  • promotion of local products
  • social sustainability/ prioritizing of public services to reach the masses
  • transparency of budget allocation per region
  • consideration of income tax reform bills
  • promote microfinancing/ entrepreneurship to curb unemployment
  • introduction of livelihood opportunities

Disaster management

  • more effective budget allocation
  • investment of disaster-resilient facilities and researches
  • adopt international innovations

International relations

  • strengthen international connections with other countries in terms of diplomacy, economy, environmental and humanitarian advocacies

When asked how to choose from candidates, speaker for Peace, Atty. Romeo Cabarde, Jr., said in the open forum, “I think assessing the kind of leader you will vote is something that you should think about personally.”  He emphasized that when choosing our leaders, there may be different “struggles, pain, issues” that may be involved.

“The problem is, during election, we are always confronted with a lesser evil rather than choosing the greater good, because there are not a lot of options,” Cabarde added.

Speaker for Education and Empowerment, Alwne Jan Perez, focused on “checking the entire package” which includes course of action (platform), capacity, character and company. However, he made it clear that the future of the country does not depend entirely on the candidate who will win.

He emphasized how the youth is influential in nation-building with what they can individually do. He highlighted a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

The Y2G forum in Region XI was attended by about 200 youth aged 18-25.

End the silence of the gagged!

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