I thank the Permanent Mission of Romania to the United Nations for inviting the Philippines to participate in this side-event “Achieving progress through youth participation.”
I am speaking in my capacity as Assistant Secretary of the National Youth Commission of the Philippines and I wish to share initiatives undertaken by the Philippine government in promoting youth participation
Allow me to begin by saying that participation is a fundamental right. It is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has been reiterated in Conventions and Declarations of the UN.
The Philippines believes that through active participation, young people can play a significant role in their own development as well as in that of their communities and the society.
The Philippine government has adopted a comprehensive national policy on youth – the Philippine Youth Development Plan (PYDP) 2017-2022 which seeks to enable, promote and ensure the youth’s active, meaningful and holistic participation in society in furtherance of their rights and welfare.
The Plan identifies 9 centers for youth participation: Health, Education, Economic empowerment, Social inclusion and equity, Security, Governance, Active Citizenship, Environment and Global Mobility. These centers of participation aim to harmonize existing government programs by means of crafted strategies. Each strategy has specific objectives, programs and projects, monitoring metrics and lead agencies.
Filipino youth participation in local governance is ensured through the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) – a council who represents the youth sector in each barangay in the Philippines. It is composed of youth leaders aged 18 to 24 elected to deliver youth-focused services in the community. It is tasked to initiate programs for development of the youth and to establish adequate, effective, responsive and enabling mechanisms and support systems that empower the youth and ensure their meaningful participation in local governance and nation-building.
As a youth representative myself, I recognize the importance of youth participation and its critical role in ensuring that the full potential of the youth is harnessed and developed as partners in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including its youth-specific targets.
Thank you for your attention.