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Youth groups drum up support for Isko

November 22, 2021 Marlon Purification 279 views

YOUTH groups supporting the presidential bid of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno held the “Layag National Youth Convention” on Sunday and presented the “ Youth Agenda” to the Aksyon Demokratiko candidates who attended the event.

In Butuan City, thousands of Isko Moreno supporters held a motorcade in what was dubbed as the 1st Blue Wave Caravan in Mindanao. Wearing Blue T-shirts, motorcycle riders numbering more than 1,000 motored around the city Sunday to drum up support for the Aksyon Demokratiko presidential aspirant.

At the Garden Plaza Hotel in Manila, 100 youth leaders submitted their sectoral agenda to the Isko Moreno Team led by vice presidential bet Dr. Willie Ong and senatorial bets Carl Balita, Samira Gutoc, and Jopet Sison.

The Youth Agenda included several action points for youth development, including the institutionalization of full autonomy for Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), as well as honorarium and benefits for SK councilors, secretaries, and treasurers; postponement of the 2022 barangay and SK elections; mandatory funding for local youth development councils; and support for the programs of the National Youth Commission.

It also highlighted several demands for the education sector, such as additional budget for public schools, state universities, and local universities; cash aid for K-12 students;

Other proposed courses of action include free access to mental health services; moratorium on land conversion; enactment of an anti-political dynasty law and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) law; and the genuine rehabilitation of Marawi.

In a recorded message, Moreno pointed out that young people play a crucial role in pushing his presidential campaign forward.

“Mahirap ‘tong laban natin. Pero naniniwala ako sa tulong ninyo at sa pagkakaisa natin, mapagtatagumpayan natin itong paglalayag natin sa ginagawa natin ngayon,” said Moreno, who has been on a “listening tour” in various provinces in Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog with his Aksyon Demokratiko team.

Ong, who represented Moreno in the Youth Convention, said securing accessible services and affordable medicines for young people, especially those with mental health issues, will be one of his priorities if he wins as vice president next year.

“Pag naayos ko lang talaga yung healthcare, talagang di na kayo ibuburden ng mga parents niyo, hihingi sa inyo ng pera,” said Ong, who is both a cardiologist and internist.

A registered nurse and midwife, Balita said the next administration should transform the education sector and improve the lives of the country’s educators.

“Kailangan natin manalo para may madala tayo na pagbabago. Walang doktor, nurses, engineer, kung walang teacher. Kailangan alagaan natin ang mga teachers,” said Balita, who holds a doctorate degree on education.

For his part, former Quezon City councilor Sison called for wider transparency in the national budget process, which directly affects the outcomes of the country’s youth development programs.

“Ano ba ang pinaka importanteng batas na ipinapasa kada taon? It’s the budget. Dapat transparent ‘yan sa tao. Magkaroon ng line budgeting,” said Sison, who also worked as an assistant general manager of the National Housing Authority.

Gutoc, a Moro civic leader and women’s rights advocate, called on the youth to use social media to spread awareness and not hate in advancing the fight against disinformation.

“We need to fight fake news and misinformation. Social Media is for information not for hating each other,” said Gutoc, who hails from Marawi City.

Among those represented in the Layag National Youth Convention were Isko Tayo Kabataan, Youth Movement for Isko, Bilis Kilos Youth, PRIMO ISKO Youth, Aksyon Kabataan, Bekshie ng Maynila, ISKO – Ilaw at Sandigan ng Kabataang Organisado, IM Youth Rizal, IM4P BAGETSKO and the Manila Youth Bureau.