TUBA, Benguet –“I have learned to listen to and consider other people’s suggestions and opinions on certain matters,” Ariel Saliwaga said in an earlier interview. “This experience has, in many ways, boosted my confidence in public speaking and meeting people.”
Saliwaga, then a 12-year-old Grade VI student at the Piminggan Elementary School (PES), at SitioPiminggan, in Tuba’s Brgy.Ansagan, was talking about his experience as one of the participants in a youth camp organized two years ago by the Philex Outlying Youth Movers’ Society (POYMS) and held in SitioLigay, Brgy. Camp 1, also in Tuba.
Dubbed “The Youth Camp 2014,” with the theme “Transformed Youth Leaders: Asset of the Community,” the event was for the elementary and high-school students, as well as out-of-school youth from the host and neighboring communities of Philex Mining Corp.’s Padcal mine, which supported the three-day workshop on values formation and cultural awareness.
The then-secretary of POYMS, JanilynDionisio (now its vice president), said the participants were about 30 students from four elementary and two secondary schools, and the Alternative Learning System (ALS), a government-created, non-formal education program giving out-of-school youth and other dropouts a chance to finish their elementary and high-school studies. “The event was organized to let the participants internalize the sincere commitment of the company in delivering its CSR or corporate social responsibility,” she adds.
The leaders of POYMS, which groups the Philex Mining college scholars and the youth at Padcal’s outlying communities (host and neighboring communities combined), conducted the workshop, which also included lectures on the importance of the mining industry in community development, the preservation of ethnic practices, and the empowerment of the young, so they could speak up for their communities.
Besides the sharing of ideas and learning from the lecturers and from each other about the importance of teamwork in an organization and institution, the students also had fun taking part in the various parlor games and group activities that enlivened the event on May 21 – 23, 2014. This was the second youth camp organized by POYMS, which was established in July 2013 by less than 50 initial members, the first being was in Oct. 2013 in Brgy. Dalupirip-Proper, Itogon. Called “The First Philex Youth Development Camp,” the event was attended by over 60 high-school and college students coming from the outlying communities.
“We are happy for our students to be able to attend this kind of event, and we thank Philex Mining for its support,” said Henry Tinaza, then teacher-in-charge (TIC) of the Ligay Elementary School (LES), in SitioLigay, who had attended the event as one of the facilitators. “We believe that this workshop will help mold them to becoming good students and future leaders and professionals,” added Tinaza, who is now TIC of Indaoac Elementary School, in Brgy. Tabaan Sur, Tuba.
Besides the LES and PES, the elementary schools represented in the workshop were the Camp 3 Elementary School, in Brgy. Camp 3, and Torre Elementary School, in the same barangay’s Sitio Torre. The high-school participants, on the other hand, came from the Evelio Javier National High School-Annex, in SitioPiminggan, and the LaurencioFianza National High School, in Brgy. Dalupirip-Proper.
DebralizGabol, then-president of POYMS and now a social worker at the Benguet town of Kibungan, explained that it is the group’s vision to impart to the young beneficiaries in Padcal mine’s five outlying communities whatever the youth leaders have learned from their own training and experiences. She added, “Our vision for youth development cannot be achieved, however, without the help of Philex Mining and the local leaders, as well as the participation of and commitment from the youth.”