Youth participation in policymaking to strengthen; Local Youth Development Office expected to be created 

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Bontoc, Mountain Province –The local government here has institutionalized the participation and involvement of the youth sector in the crafting and monitoring of the policies of the municipality. The Municipal Council approved Ordinance Ordinance No. 342, S. 2021, known as the Local Youth Development Council Ordinance.

The ordinance sponsored by Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President Sherwin Chamkas and co-sponsored by Sangguniang Bayan member Alsannyster Patingan stated that it is a declared policy of the Municipality of Bontoc, Mountain Province to promote and protect the physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, cultural, and social well-being of the Bontoc youth and to inculcate in them values of patriotism and nationalism and to encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.

Article 2 Section 13 of the 1987 Constitution stipulated that the State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being.

Thus, to ensure wide and multi-sectoral youth participation in local governance, the Local Youth Development Council (LYDC) was created.

The LYDC shall be composed of 21 members including the president and vice-president of the Pederasyon ng SK (Sangguniang Kabataan) and shall be supported by 19 other representatives from the various youth sectors. It shall serve as the core of the advocacy on youth participation in nation-building and youth empowerment, finalize, monitor, and evaluate the Local Youth Development Plan.

The ordinance added that there shall be a Local Youth Development Office which shall be headed by a Local Youth Development Officer (SG-18) and to be provided with four staff.

Under the ordinance, in addition to the requirements prescribed by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and reasonable standards set by the Human Resource Management Office, the LYD Officer and other staff of the office shall be preferably not more than 30 years old at the time of his or her appointment; of good moral character; must have acquired experience in youth development affairs or involvement in youth or youth-serving organizations for at least three years; he or she shall be appointed by the Local Chief executive, but in no case is he or she be within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of the appointing authority.

Meanwhile, some of the duties and functions of the Local Youth Development Office are registering and verifying the youth-serving organizations, providing technical assistance to the LYDC, conducting mandatory training of the SK officials, and organizing and implementing programs and activities that will promote a broad understanding of the problems affecting the youth.

Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey approved the ordinance recognizing the huge role of the youth in nation-building.

“The youth indeed play a vital role in nation-building. Therefore, they need to be given more opportunity to be involved in the municipality’s policy-making to encourage more youth participation in our programs,” he added.

The ordinance shall take effect immediately upon approval by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and in accordance with the law. // Christy Mae F. Che-es & Alpine Killa-Malwagay, Bontoc LGU

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