80 Youth Leaders from Zamboanga Peninsula, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte and Iligan City congregated for the 3rdRegional Youth Leadership Summit themed, “Youth of Today, Our Partner for a Positive Activism,” held in Mindanao Civic Center, Tubod. It is a five day activity from October 5-9, 2017 where these youth leaders are taught and moulded to be an instrument of change and against radicalization. The activity is spearheaded by the Philippine Army and Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte through the Provincial Population Office (PPO) and the Provincial Human Resource Management and Development Office (PHRMDO). The Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte supports development programs that will further advance the interest of the youth sector in building the nation.
The role of the youth in nation building is enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution: “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. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism; and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.”
Provincial Vice-Governor of Lanao del Norte, Maria Cristina Navaro Atay was emotional when addressing the youth in her welcome message. “My eyes were already teary during the prayer, because I do believe that you are not only the future leader of this land but you are our leaders for today.” Vice-Governor Atay said it is the right time to invest for the youth as leaders of our country in the future by giving importance to their ideas today.
Vice-Governor Atay acknowledged the presence of Lt. Col. Jo-ar Acosta Herrera of the 1st Infantry Tabak Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and to Capt. Clint Antipala and Capt. Erickson Balanga for the AFP’s relentless campaign in promoting patriotism and nationalism to the youth. The Vice-Governor is hopeful that this activity will be taken seriously by the participants. “As leaders you have to make a personal commitment,” by doing valuable things that enhances the participation of the youth in nation building. Leaders should be proactive and not a passive one, and reminded the youth that it is a rare privileged to be a part of this activity and encouraged them to strive for excellence through helping each other despite religious and cultural differences.
Lt. Col. Herrera shared an inspirational message to the youth leaders. “Ang youth sector ay kailangan na namin ngayon hindi bukas…ngayon na. That is why our theme, Youth of Today, Our Partner for a Positive Activism, and that is very important, Active Positive Activism, because the youth sector is full of idealism and full of ambitions and we have to divert that into a better perspective, for a better society. And, we intend to push that kind of values in order for you to become relevant in your community and society.”
Radicalization and Extremism is destroying our civilized community by slowly building barriers to our harmonious relationship in feeding the people especially the youth sector with ideologies that is beyond human comprehension.
In the activity soldiers who are members of the National Youth Commission has also participated by facilitating and guiding the youth leaders. Participants made flags and sang the song Pilipinas Kong Mahal. A video presentation of the previous Regional Youth Leadership Summit was shown during the summit prepared by the Philippine Army.
The Lt. Col. expressed his gratitude to Vice-Governor Maria Cristina N. Atay and to the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte under the leadership of Governor Imelda “Angging” Quibranza-Dimaporo. The technical group, the facilitators and to Capt. Clint Antipala and Capt. Erickson Balanga who worked tirelessly in making this event remarkable. To Lord Leos Levv L. Labunga or 5L as his friends and colleagues fondly call him and the team of PPO and the PHRMDO. 5L is full of passion in promoting the advocacy of the youth not only in Lanao del Norte but to other regions as well. He is one of the pioneers of the Youth For Development or Y4D Program of the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte that was organized during the term of Governor Mohamad Khalid Quibranza-Dimaporo, now Congressman of the 1st District.
The unwavering support of Provincial Governor Imelda “Angging” Quibranza-Dimaporo, 1st District Representative, Congressman Mohamad Khalid Quibranza Dimaporo and 2nd District Representative, Congressman Abdullah “Bobby” Dimakuta Dimaporo together with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan chaired by Vice-Governor Maria Cristina N. Atay and the whole Provincial Government family in the youth by taking the necessary steps in giving priorities to their ideas in hosting this 3rd Regional Youth Leadership Summit in Lanao del Norte, “The Land of Beauty and Bounty.”
The Activities waiting for these youth leaders are Environmental Awareness Protection, Urban Landscape gardening, Disaster Preparedness, Cultural Sensitivity, Role of the Youth in Peace Building, Criminality & Drug Addiction Prevention. With these lists of activities, youth leaders are expected to be active in positive activism.