NYC chair says mission is to save youth, Kabataan solon from Joma Sison
MANILA, Philippines — It is the mission of the National Youth Commission (NYC) to “save” the youth as well as Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago from Communist Party of the Philippines chairperson Joma Sison.
This was the explanation of NYC chairperson Ryan Enriquez when asked about why the agency has a low utilization rate of its 2020 budget.
During the House hearing on the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s 2021 budget, Elago asked Enriquez this question: “Tayo po ay nababahala sa napakababang utilization rate ng NYC para sa taong 2019, nasa 60.3% lang. Ito po ang pinakamababa sa lahat ng agenices ng DILG at mas mababa pa, 40.7%, para sa continuing appropriations. Maaari bang ipaliwanag ito ng NYC?”
But instead of answering it, Enriquez replied: “Ang NYC, we cannot advocate for the anti-government, we cannot advocate ‘yung mga tao sa bundok to be the voice and advocate and we cannot advocate din na pabagsakin ‘yung ating gobyerno.”
“Kami po ay naniniwala na ang NYC po ay nandito para makatulong para sa mga kabataan at si Congresswoman Elago na mai-ligtas din po siya sa mga kamay ni Joma Sison,” he added.
When further asked on NYC’s low utilization of its 2020 budget, Enriquez instead mentioned the proposed budget of the NYC for 2021.
Bulacan Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, who is presiding over the hearing, had to explain to Enriquez the meaning of utilization rate.
The NYC chief then answered that nearly half or 49% of the budget of the agency is still unobligated. He likewise reasoned that most of the budget of the agency was realigned for the government’s social amelioration program.
Enriquez also failed to answer Elago’s queries on the low engagement of the youth on policy advisories and advocacies.
Elago said that from the target of engaging 100 youth-serving organizations, the NYC has only reached out to 10%.
“Bakit 10% lamang ng target na 100 youth-serving orgizations ang kanilang nae-engage sa youth policy advisors and advocacies?” the lawmaker asked.
“Hindi po ba ibig sabihin nito ay hindi nagagampanan ng NYC ‘yung kanyang trabaho na makipagkonsultahan, palakasin ang engagement ng kabataang Pilipino pagdating sa mga issue na may kinalaman sa kanila?” she added.
In response, Enriquez said the NYC was unable to do consultations because of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Elago said that what she was pertaining to was the performance of the agency in 2019, when the pandemic has not hit the country yet.
The NYC chairperson instead answered that the agency is doing its job.
Elago then manifested during the hearing the calls of several organizations for the removal of Enriquez as the head of the NYC and their plea for “genuine youth representation” and “better youth leadership” in NYC.
She also called for the response of Enriquez to the letter of the NYC employees association on issues regarding alleged abuse of authority and violations in the security of tenure, among others.
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