Top Cabinet exec tells youth councils: Tackle real problems
BAGUIO CITY — Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Tuesday (Dec. 10) sought to tap youth councils, or Sangguniang Kabataan, to help reduce hunger and avert climate change disasters by 2030 in line with Philippine commitments to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Addressing the 2019 Philippine Youth Summit here, Nograles said the government has moved the next SK elections from May 2020 to Dec. 5, 2022, keeping current youth council officials enconsced in their seats and giving them more time to measure hunger extent and climate risks in their communities.
Data should help the youth craft projects to deal with these issues, he said, given that SK reforms led to the election in 2018 of more mature youth representatives. Aged between 18 to 24 years old, they are old enough to manage and finance projects separately from village governments, Nograles said.
Many villages have yet to separate their SK budgets, but the Commission on Audit Is drafting an SK manual on financial management to guide the youth governments.
However, all SK governments must do more than organize beauty contests in light of real problems confronting their generation, Nograles said.
Climate action, for example, is necessary in the grassroots level because extreme weather that triggers disasters plaguing the country today will get worse for future generations, he said.
Projects like collecting plastic waste in exchange for food has proven to be successful and may help improve the environment “you will inherit,” Nograles said.
The secretary also urged SK to help bring quality education to the villages, in light of the country’s collective shock for its rock-bottom performance in math, science and reading among 78 other nations that took the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Pisa evaluates the quality of a country’s public education.
“We finally confirmed we are last,” Nograles said, but it reveals where and how the public school system can improve.
This is important for a country that should have an advantage with its very young population, compared to developed countries with aging populations, he said. When every young person is healthy, educated, and have decent jobs, then the economy grows, Nograles said.
Edited by TSB
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