MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Youth will start an inquiry into reports about a lack of physical activity and ambition among Filipino youth in an effort to find measures that will improve their quality of life.
Sen. Sonny Angara, who chairs that committee, asked for the inquiry through Senate Resolution No 226, which he filed last Monday, Sept. 19.
The goal, he said, was to develop “a whole-of-government strategy to address these issues and promote quality of life for our young people,”
He was referring to issues raised in a study released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019.
The study found that four out of five, or 81 percent, of Filipinos aged 11 to 17 had insufficient physical activity.
“While the study showed that a majority of adolescents worldwide were not meeting the minimum WHO recommendation of at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity, the fact that the Philippines was at the top of the list is alarming and immediate action should be taken to address this problem,” Angara said.
The WHO study says that an increase in daily physical activity could lead to improvements in cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone and cardiometabolic health, and weight.
“Stronger policies should be in place to encourage the youth to engage in a more active lifestyle. Urban planning should also integrate more open spaces for sports and other activities to promote physical and mental health,” Angara said.
“We should continue to promote the use of non-motorized transport such as bicycles as strongly as we did during the pandemic but this should go hand-in-hand with making our roads and communities more pedestrian friendly and conducive to walking,” he added.
Angara also cited a study done by The Dream Project PH.
That showed that eight out of 10 Filipino teenagers had no dreams to pursue due to the following reasons:
- lack of conversation to nurture a child’s dream or purpose
- the absence of role models
- limited perspectives in terms of challenging and encouraging them to make positive changes in the community
- limited opportunities in spite of their educational attainment
- the economic situation of their families, which often forces them to choose between their survival or pursuing their dreams
“We need to look into these alarming trends that stand in the way of the dreams of our youth. The progress of our country largely depends on the development of our youth and so we must find ways to nurture their dreams and ensure they have all the tools they require to attain these,” Angara said.