Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee R. Marcos urged the country’s young to involve themselves more actively on issues plaguing the youth and respond to their concerns on a peer-to-peer level.
Addressing students of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Santa Rosa, Laguna last October 4, she recalled her days as chairperson of the Kabataang Barangay (KB), predecessor of today’s Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), in engaging the youth sector in nation-building.
“Noong panahon namin ni Congresswoman [Arlene B. Arcillas] at lahat ng mga dating SK at KB, ang problema namin noon ay ’yung out-of-school youth. Araw-araw, talagang tinutukan namin,” shared the governor.
Gov. Marcos had been a proponent of the National Manpower and Youth Council (NMYC) under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to develop work-ready competencies among the youth for economic empowerment.
The NMYC was later merged with the Bureau of Technical and Vocational Education (BTVE) under the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) and the Apprenticeship Program of DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), giving birth to today’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
“Ang sigaw namin noon: ‘Makialam!’ Ngayon, sana makialam din kayo sa mga isyu ng kabataan.”
Governor Marcos pointed out that in spite the numerous economic zones in Laguna, there is still a mismatch between available jobs and the training or skills development offered to students.
“Kinakailangang maging tulay ang mga kabataan mismo, at alamin kung ano ang mga trabaho na available.”
Furthermore, she outlined rampant social issues such as early or unwanted teenage pregnancy, cyberbullying, mental health and youth depression, and suicide.
She encouraged the students to develop peer counseling skills, saying that most young people are not inclined to listen to parents, teachers, and others from older generations and thus could benefit from peer-to-peer guidance and counseling.
“Ang kabataan na mismo ang magsolusyon dito; ang tututok sa lahat na ito.”
The governor was speaking at an inauguration ceremony of a new multipurpose building at PUP, with students of different courses attending as well as several SK officials.