by Claire R. Gigje
MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)–The city government here, alongside the child-focused organization World Vision Philippines, is determined to keep the youth sector protected against all forms of abuse.
To ensure that this drive is carried on, a social protection program was held, February 27, to gather youth leaders and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairpersons so that they would be instilled with life skills that are beneficial when emergencies transpire, such as when abuse is about to arise.
Such an activity also introduced government services that the youth could use through the Local Youth Development Office (LYDO) and in collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG).
LYDO Officer Yusuph Pangadapun III stressed that they intended to lead this initiative, taking into account that only over 40% of the youth in the city are aware of the government services they can make use of.
He stated that this may be attributed to the greater percentage of those who are focused more on their studies and other responsibilities.
Pangadapun further revealed that just roughly 60% of the 96 SKs in the city are functional due to the lack of financial assistance in the implementation of programs.
Coping with all these challenges, he shared that they intensified their monitoring to compel those non-functional groups to be active while connecting as well with the Association of Barangay Chairpersons to ask for help regarding this matter.
With their social protection program, Pangadapun took the chance to encourage the participants that while they are studying, they must also be aware of the programs that they can enjoy.
He also told the young people that they should take part in government activities, programs, and making decisions.
Additionally, Pangadapun urged the aforementioned sector not to fall prey to false information or act as purveyors of fake news.
“I would like to encourage ang mga kabataan na maging aktibo sa good governance na ipinapakita ng ating city government of Marawi. Makipag-coordinate sila sa mga programa nila dahil ang pagiging kabataan ay pagiging lider na rin,” he said.
(I would like to encourage the youth to be active in good governance, which has been demonstrated by our city government in Marawi. They must coordinate their programs because being a youth is also being a leader)
World Vision Child Protection Coordinator Jhoy Maung said the recent program for the SKs is not the first time her organization has worked with youth groups here.
She underlined that they took part in this activity to provide information and awareness regarding the rights of children, including the available resources within different local government agencies, in hopes of creating a rippling effect that will continue for generations to come.
“Through the activities we conducted, pwede nilang ma-share sa siblings, friends at neighbors nila [ang kanilang mga natunan] (they can share to their siblings, friends, and neighbors [whatever they learned]). Through that, Marawi City will become a city na (that is) free from any abused children,” said Maung. (CRG/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)