/ 29 January 2022

THE SENATE Committee on Youth on Friday tackled four bills that seek to promote the development of young Filipinos as future leaders and productive members of society.

Senator Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’  Angara, chairman of the committee, said particular attention must be given to the youth who have been affected just as much as everyone else by the pandemic.

“Apart from having to adjust to blended learning and for some, a disruption in their education because of the prohibition on face-to-face classes, our youth have also been dealing with mental health issues, the degree of which varies from person to person. This is why their welfare must not be neglected and we must continue to come up with ways to advance their development,” Angara said.

The four bills taken up in the hearing have  been approved in the House of Representatives.

Senate Bills 2012 and 1587 filed by Angara and Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. respectively, seek to declare August 12 of every year as National Youth Day.

This is in consonance with International Youth Day, which encourages the youth to organize activities that will raise awareness regarding their situation.

Under Senate Bill 2012, the National Youth Commission and the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority are mandated to include discussions on career paths, sustainable development goals, preservation of the environment, gender equality, and mental health during the celebration of the International Youth Day.

The committee also tackled the proposed Young Farmers and Fisherfolk Challenge Act as contained in Senate Bill 884 filed by Sen. Imee Marcos that aims to encourage the younger generation to take up farming and fishery as careers.

Angara noted how the number of young Filipinos going into agriculture or agribusiness is dwindling.

“We want to encourage the youth to take up agribusiness as a viable and potentially profitable career. Given the proper education, training and incentives, we hope to change the negative perceptions of the youth on agriculture,” Angara said.

House Bill 9852, on the other hand, seeks to institutionalize the holding of annual summer youth camps nationwide.

The fourth bill that was taken up was Senate Bill 2429 filed by Revilla, which seeks to designate the National Music Competitions for Young Artists as the Philippine National Youth Development Program for Music.

As the counterpart of House Bill 10015, SB 2429 envisions the NAMCYA as the conduit for the discovery of outstanding musical talents in the country; the development of musicians; the preservation, development and promotion of Philippine music as an artform; and the undertaking of a continuing program of research, documentation and publication of Philippine music for dissemination to schools and the general public.