By Danny O. Calleja
LEGAZPI CITY, May 11 (PNA) -– The National Youth Commission (NYC) will convene selected delegates from all over the country next month for its 11th National Youth Parliament (NYP) with one slot given to a representative from this key Bicol city.
The grand event slated from June 1 to 4 will be held in Iloilo City and village councilor Flored Jay Naval Medina of Barangay 1 (EM’s Barrio) here will be among the around 200 participants selected by the NYC.
In an interview on Wednesday, Medina, 25, who is in his second term as member of the barangay council, said he was highly honored for being selected as the only delegate to represent the city, the province of Albay and the entire Bicol region after hurdling the stringent selection process.
Medina said he applied for the 11th NYP because he believes that he needs to explore his capabilities in terms of parliamentary procedures as a legislator even as he serves only the smallest government unit.
City Mayor Noel E. Rosal said his administration is so thankful to the NYC for providing at least one slot for the city’s delegate to the NYP.
Started in 1996, NYP is a biennial gathering of the country’s youth leaders aimed at crafting recommendations that would serve as government’s guide in policy and program development.
“The gathering, organized by the NYC under the Office of the President, is one of the best training grounds for me in my desire to effectively serve my community. I am proud to represent Legazpi, the City of Fun and Adventure in the tourism world which has been lately adjudged as the second Most Livable City in the country,” Medina said.
Founded in June 1995 via Republic Act 8044 better known as the Youth in Nation-Building Act, NYC is a government agency that specifically addresses issues surrounding the Filipino youth.
Hence, the Commission is not only the government's sole policy-making body on youth affairs but also coordinates and implements some programs designed to help the youth to be more aware of the issues surrounding them.
This mandate is enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution which says: "The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism; and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs."
Since its foundation, the Commission has been formulating the Philippine Medium-Term Youth Development Plan (MTYDP) which is a product of desk reviews and series of consultations on young Filipino's issues and concerns with representatives of youth and youth-serving organizations.
The youth's perception on issues outlined in Youth Attributes, Participation and Service Providers' (YAPS) that affect them serves as important inputs in crafting the MTYDP, which outlines steps that help concretize what the youth themselves desire, serves as a guiding framework for youth development and empowerment.
The plan is a broad guide for action that makes young Filipinos play a very important role in ensuring that the recommended policies, programs and courses of actions are carried out.
Meanwhile, among the significant contributions of the NYC to the government’s poverty alleviation program is Government Internship Program (GIP) wherein it arranged for other government agencies and private companies the hiring out-of-school, unemployed youth as interns for a monthly stipend that is 75 percent of the minimum wage.
It also implements the annual Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP), a cultural exchange program that started in 1974 as a joint statement between ASEAN member-countries and Japan.
Participated by young people from these countries, the program’s objective is to promote friendship and mutual understanding.
At the same time, the NYC is one of the organizers of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO), the country's premier search for outstanding youth groups.
In a earlier statement announcing the NYP, NYC Chairperson Gio Tingson said “We are excited over gathering together once more our youth leaders to tackle youth issues that continue to hound them. What is unique about this gathering is its no holds-barred discussions and debates.”
"NYP gives our young people the chance to meaningfully participate in governance, particularly in crafting policies and programs for inclusive youth development," according to Tingson.
Through the years, NYP, as a consultative mechanism that allows creative and innovative ways for young people to participate in the national decision-making processes of the government, has been instrumental in the advocacy for adoption of youth-centered legislations.
“Once again, the country’s brightest and most passionate youth leaders in this 11th NYP get together to share ideas and gain valuable insights and networks that will aid them in youth development efforts,” he said.
The event, since its first 20 years ago through the NYC, has showcased the true spirit of the Filipino youth — commitment and selfless devotion to nation-building, Tingson said.
“Through all these programs and projects we are initiating, the NYC always works to develop and harness the youth’s potentials and enable them to be of great service to the country and their community as we want to provide the youth with opportunities to be an active partner in nation-building,” he added. (PNA)