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PIA tells youth to be partners for change during ASEAN youth forum

SARANGANI, Philippines – Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Deputy Director General Gregorio Angelo Villar told the youth on Tuesday (May 23) to be “partners for change” in empowering people in their respective communities.
This, he said during the Provincial ASEAN Youth Forum held at Isla Jardin del Mar in Gumasa, Glan. The forum was participated in by more than 300 youth from all over Sarangani.
According to him, PIA’s mandate is to provide information to the public using various platforms such as the youth forum so they will know how they can “better participate in and benefit from government’s programs” and sharing them to others.
He cited some opportunities that ASEAN countries have made available for the youth like scholarships program, the free movement of skilled workers, and the free visa policy that have been enjoyed by many Filipinos now.
While emphasizing that information is crucial, DDG Villar also cautioned the youth to be discerning enough and to validate before sharing them to social media.
PIA XII officer-in-charge Joey Dalumpines conveyed the Bagong PIA saying it’s about reaching out to the people by providing them information on the different policies and services of government to make them appreciate what the government is doing.
Aida Agad, information Officer III of PIA XII presented the overview of the ASEAN highlighting on the three pillars, namely the ASEAN political-security community, ASEAN economic community, and the ASEAN socio-cultural community.
She said: “ASEAN today has one of the fastest economic growth rates ranging from 5-8 percent.”
When it comes to promoting economic growth, social progress, protecting the regional peace and stability, ASEAN as a regional hub has since asserted its influence while also providing opportunities for member states to discuss differences peacefully.
Meanwhile, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) XII Kathryn Abad urged the youth to “share information” especially on individuals whose actions seem suspicious as they might be into illegal drug activities.
“Don’t hide information that can help government authorities,” she told youth participants.
Rosa Lemana, chief economic development specialist of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) XII also presented AmBisyon Natin 2040 describing it a vision of Filipino people who aspire “a simple yet strong and comfortable life” in the next 25 years.
Engaging the youth on what they can do to help authorities, Sgt. Jojo Dizon of the Philippine Army’s 1002nd Infantry Brigade discussed on the insurgency problem that Region XII faces, stressing further on the principle of “shared responsibility” among youth especially in maintaining peace and resolving conflict in the area.
Sarangani provincial youth coordinator John Oliver Tablazon also shared his views on ASEAN citing the many opportunities that the youth could possibly avail of.
He narrated his experience being one of Mindanao’s representatives in the Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) in 2015 describing it a “life-changing” one.
The multi-skilled youth leader told PIA that he likes to share his experience and talent to inspire his peers that they too can make a change and be a leader in their own time.
Tablazon also thanked PIA XII for choosing the Sarangani youth as its partners in the ASEAN Youth Forum, which carried the theme, “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”
ASEAN, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations founded on August 8, 1967.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.