/ 8 March 2023

MORE than 200 youth leaders from 15 cities in the country participated in the first-ever National Youth Development Alliance Summit hosted by the United States government in Davao City last month.

The United States Agency International Development said the summit aimed to strengthen city government programs for employing and educating out-of-school youth.

“Organized by the USAID Opportunity 2.0 program, the YDA Summit provided a platform to share knowledge, best practices, and innovations to support OSY,” it said in a statement.

“These include programs such the Alternative Learning System of the Department of Education, online technical-vocational training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the Youth Entrepreneurship Program of the Department of Trade and Industry,” it added.

Local leaders and representatives from 15 USAID partner cities joined the summit, including Angeles City, Pasig City, Valenzuela City, Quezon City, Legazpi City, Davao City, General Santos City, Cotabato City, Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City, Cebu City, Iloilo City, Tagbilaran City, Zamboanga City, and Isabela City.

During the event, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte praised USAID for its support to education and workforce development in the Philippines.

“Many USAID programs in the Philippines have strengthened education and workforce development systems, reached more out-of-school youth, and helped us get them ready for the transition to further education and training, immediate employment, and long-term success,”
Duterte said.

According to USAID Mission Director Ryan Washburn, the Philippines has an estimated four million out-of-school children and youth.

“To make growth truly inclusive, we must provide each person the opportunity for a better tomorrow. USAID launched the Opportunity 2.0 program in 2020 to support our Philippine partners to do just that,” Washburn said.

USAID helped set up YDAs in cities across the Philippines to provide opportunities for OSY, including work and business readiness training, on-the-job training, youth leadership and empowerment seminars, and entrepreneurial support.

Since 2020, YDAs have been instrumental in guiding 30,000 OSY to obtain better jobs, open businesses, or acquire a higher level of education.