BAGGAO, Cagayan (PIA) - - The pivotal role of the Filipino youth in peace and order, as well, as the efforts, of the younger generations in nation-building, were highlighted during the conduct of the three-day Barangay Youth Leadership Summit (BYLS) in barangay Tallang in this municipality.
The BYLS which was conducted on November 30 until December 2 was spearheaded by the 77th Infantry Battalion (77IB) in partnership with the Youth For Peace (YFP) Baggao chapter and the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) of Tallang.
“YLS is a one stop shop that empower and develop every youth's potential and capabilities. I believe that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow so we should support youth-related activities that promote leadership and that encourage them to be an active member of the community by being a peace builder and part of nation building,” YFP Baggao chapter President Rona Guillermo said.
The YLS is also an avenue to educate the youth about the deceptive tactics of the CPP-NPA-NDF, we are still the hope of our nation, and we will not let the youth to be exploited and used by the lefties, she added.
In his message, Lt. Col. Magtangol Panopio, commanding officer of the 77IB, urged the participants to lead first themselves before leading others.
“First is [you must] lead yourself. You motivate yourself. Get your goals and achieve your dreams. The hardest part of leadership is to lead yourself. Madali lang utusan ang ibang tao pero ang mga sarili niyo sabihin na mag-aral ako, bumangon ako, yun ang mahirap,” said Panopio.
As peace advocate, he advised the youth leaders to be their partners in pursuit of peace and order to end the decade-long armed struggle.
“We are all advocate of peace lalo na kaming mga kapulisan, kasundaluhan. Kami ang unang-una na ayaw sa pakikipaglaban. Merong mga threats sa ating kapaliguran na hindi natin napapansin. Meron tayong CCP-NPA, even partylist na napakaganda ng pangalan [pero] they want to recruit youth to join the armed struggle and influence other youth na walang ginagawa ang gobyerno,” the commander added.
“Be active leaders of today and tomorrow. Kailangan namin ng kabataan ngayon at bukas. Kasi malay niyo kayo ay mapapalit kay vice mayor,” he further said.
The activity included series of lectures on the Role of the Youth in Nation Building, Principles of Leadership, Teenage Pregnancy, Gender Sensitivity, Fire Prevention Tips, Anti-illegal drugs, Mental Health Awareness, and Anti-Terrorism.
Aside from lectures, the youth leaders have also engaged in other activities such as team building, tree growing, road run, and recollection.
On the other hand, SK Tallang Chairperson Jay Vee Dela Cruz said he was the one who tapped YFP Baggao chapter to conduct the BYLS in their barangay after learning the succesful conduct and good feedback of participants during the BYLS in barangay Poblacion.
He recognized that it is a good venue to empower his fellow youth to become good and responsible leaders in their community or school, and the perfect platform to promote awareness on deceiving issues and activities of lawless groups and organizations.
“Am-ammu kayu amin isu ammuk tu met lang nu mai-apply yu dagiti nasursuruyu ti tunos ti tallu nga aldaw nga BYLS (Kilala ko kayong lahat at alam ko kung maisasabuhay niyo ang mga natutunan niyo sa tatlong araw na pamamalagi niyo sa BYLS),” Dela Cruz added.
The Youth Leadership Summit is a program of the Philippine Army aimed at preparing the young people to be God-fearing leaders in the country and move away from societal problems like drug addiction, criminality and influence from the rebel groups. (ALM/MDCT/PIA Cagayan)