ILOILO City – “Tayo ang kikilos, tayo ang gagawa!”
These were the words of Kabataan Partylist representative Sarah Jane Elago to the youth and student leaders of Iloilo and Guimaras in a series of forum organized by Kabataan Para sa Pagbabago (National Youth Movement for Change) on Thursday.
The sole youth representative presented the people’s agenda crafted by the National People’s Summit as basis for the framework of change the Filipino people should aim for under the Duterte administration.
“There’s no sole issue that concern the youth alone, rather, the issues of the Filipino people and society are same issues that confronts the youth,” she said. She stressed the potency of collective action where power to achieve radical solutions lie on the power of the people.
Issues discussed on the forum are education rights, K-12, health, employment, genuine agrarian reform, national industrialization, the need for independent foreign policy, and war on drugs among others.
Elago also encouraged the youth and students to study the society and its ills and mobilize in various ways and means.
Youth for change
New Lucena Mayor Christian Sorongon, who once served as University Student Council chairperson of UP Visayas, encouraged the youth to serve in government.
“We should not be discouraged to be in the government service. Yes it is very hard because we could be challenging political dynasties but we must do it if we want change,” said Sorongon who ended the 30-year political reign of Mondejars in his town last May elections.
Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, in his solidarity message told youth leaders to be active in various organizations and support the movement for change.
In her part, city councilor Dr. Candice Tupaz discouraged the youth into drugs and instead pressed them to be active on people’s issues.
Legacy of the youth
“The youth should enliven the legacy of our young Filipino heroes like Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio who stood for our freedom and should be at the forefront of the struggle for our rights as sovereign people,” said JC Alejandro, Kabataan Partylist Western Visayas liaison officer and lead convener of Kabataan Para sa Pagbabago.
Alejandro added that this will be the first of the set of forums to be held in the region.
Rep. Elago ended with the calling for the youth to serve the Filipino people, join the movement for change and help in substantiating proposed Kabataan legislation including free public education, student housing support, and student healthcare service. (Rosana Inaudito | panaytoday.net)