Emerging Pinoy Leaders Congress

Emerging Pinoy Leaders Congress is a gathering of youth leaders representing different organization here in Cebu, Philippines. EPLC caters school-based, civic and other youth organizations here in Cebu. December 18-19, 2010 was the 1st Emerging Pinoy Leaders Congress held at Genesis Valley, Cabangahan, Consolacion Cebu. Emerging Pinoy Leaders Congress was organized by Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.(RAFI) and Aboitiz Leaders of Excellence (ALEx).

As a youth student leader from Cebu Institute of Technology – University, I represented Computer Students Society, a recognized student organization composed of Information Technology and Computer Science students. 

Together with other student leaders from CIT University, we were able to see the latest youth statistics provided by the National Youth Commission. It opened my eyes about the youth situation in the Philippines. The 2010 Youth Statistics, released by the National Youth Commission, has revealed that 27.83 million or around 30% of Filipinos are 15 to 30 years old.

From the session hall, we had our break out sessions wherein the participants were divided into several groups attending correlated topics that in any way affects the life of a youth – Governance, Social Welfare, Environment, Education and Health

I joined the Governance session with former SK Federation President of Liloan Hon. Gianne Sanchez from the Aboitiz Leaders of Excellence and Hon. Attorney. In the session, Hon. Sanchez shared her experience to other SK people of the session. She reminded the SKs not to be influenced by the seniors in their barangay. Same thing with what Attorney said that SK will not be abolished and by that SK Official must be independent from their seniors. After the SK discussion, we had this very interesting topic about debate. As the speaker said, before debating, you have to put in mind the three M’s: Matter, Manner and Method. Manner speaks mainly of what to debate. Is the topic that essential to talk about? Manner comes with the way you argue with others. Method is the way you attack your opponent in a debate, of course not to physically attack. 

After the breakout sessions, we went to our groups and had a deeper discussions about the following topics: Poverty and Social Welfare, Values, Governance, Health, Environment and Education. We shared for aspirations, issues about the individual topics and what we are doing as an organization to combat the problems against youth. Detailed discussion of these topics will follow later. 

From the deeper discussions we had, we prepared for a 3-minute presentation about the highlights of Day 1. Late that night, representatives were also called to design and come up with the Youth Declaration. 

EPLC Day 2

We shared more of our learnings in the morning. Instead of having it in tabular form, we chose to have our report in graphics. There are really points there that I want to share it with you but let me give time to summarize all of those. After our sharing, the Youth Declaration by the Emerging Pinoy Leaders Delegates was then presented. 

We, the Emerging Pinoy Leaders of Cebu, hereby declare the following:

Whereas, we envision a sustainable, livable and prosperous Philippines that fosters social equity, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability;

Whereas, we want to see a society that promotes and practices:
• moral, ethical and God-centered values;
• self-reliance and social well-being;
• ecological awareness and concern;
• accessible quality education for all;
• healthy living and access to quality public health care;
• participatory governance with leaders who are not only competent but also committed to practicing a system of transparency and accountability, equal opportunities and fair services to the people;

Whereas, we recognize that the government has a role to play in addressing development problems in the Philippines and requires vital partnership with and active participation of civil society and the private sector;

Whereas, we aim for the Cebuano youth to have a greater sense of social concern through responsible and accountable leadership, pro-active citizenship and volunteerism, practice of excellence and upholding moral values.

NOW THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the aforementioned premises, I hereby commit myself to the following, that I will:

Continue to promote the bigger role of my fellow youth as catalysts for positive change in the community and in the country by upholding God-centered Filipino values and self-discipline;

Support and help initiate effective poverty alleviation programs such as the replication of best practices and capacity building on entrepreneurship and livelihood;

Spearhead efforts on environmental awareness and protection, especially towards climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, pollution control and sustainable use of resources;

Advocate for the enjoyment of everybody’s right to education by supporting improvements in the educational system and the promotion of quality education;

Help educate others, especially my fellow youth, on the importance of a healthy lifestyle especially in addressing issues on reproductive health and substance abuse, and support programs promoting proper nutrition, sanitation, safety and disaster risk reduction and improved public health care;

Initiate and support activities of government institutions, especially of youth leaders in government, that promote awareness and responsiveness on issues affecting their constituents and instill the importance of values-based public service, leading to a more pro-active involvement and good governance;

And, through our shared aspirations and actions in this declaration, unite with other youth leaders in promoting a more livable Cebu and Philippines, and enjoin other stakeholders to support this collective cause.

Adopted through the concerted effort and support of 100 youth leaders representing 42 multi-sectoral organizations this 19th day of December 2010 at Consolacion, Cebu.

The Emerging Pinoy Leaders Congress Delegates

From the declaration, we decided to build an alliance among the participants and the different organizations we are representing. We also planned for the 2nd Emerging Pinoy Leaders Congress where participants also agreed that it will have a different approach. With the 77 organizations we are representing, there’s no way that we cannot be heard. Let’s make a noise and be united in fighting for what is for the youth. 

“We can build this world if we practice now what we said were fighting for.”
Participating Organizations: Cyber Council of Cebu, Computer Students’ Society, CIT University Supreme Student Government, Industrial Engineering Council, Cebu Bloggers Society, Cebu Youth Council, SK Federation of the Provinces of Cebu, USJR Supreme Student Council, USPF Supreme Student Government, UP Student Council, UP Political Science, Red Cross Youth, Dilaab Foundation, Philippine Youth Association of the Philippines Talisay City Chapter and many more. 
Photos: http://verneon.multiply.com/photos/album/329/Emerging_Pinoy_Leaders_Congress_2010

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