BAGUIO CITY -- The National Youth Commission (NYC) is envisioning a country with all the youth knowing how to respond to disaster emergencies.
NYC Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Undersecretary Ronald Gian Cardema, in a press conference on Friday, said the government body will train more than 300,000 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairmen and members in 42,000 barangays nationwide on disaster response.
Speaking on the sidelines of the first SK national summit here, Cardema said the NYC is also considering using the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in capacitating the youth on disaster and emergency response.
“We are advocating this because we are a disaster-prone country. Laging may bagyo sa ating bansa. Di na natin mababago (There is always a typhoon in our country, and we cannot change this). But what we can do is change the mindset of every individual, every Filipino youth to organize themselves in times of disasters at napakadali niyan gawin lalo na kapag nag ROTC (that would be easy to do if there is the ROTC),” Cardema said.
"By training the youth through the ROTC, they can learn about organizational structuring, deployment of manpower, supply line, where the food can be found, so that if their own town is damaged, they would know where to get water for their people,” he added.
Pending the approval of the bill that will revive ROTC, Cardema said the NYC is partnering with other government agencies to help train the SK members.
The NYC is also urging the Congress for the immediate passage of the ROTC bill.
Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, the commanding general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Reserve Command and head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), is set to give a lecture on disaster response during the summit.
The last day of the summit on Nov. 25 will be devoted to an immersion program at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), where participants "can see the sacrifices of the cadets, the soldiers, so that their tasks as SK will be put to heart”, the official said.
“The SK summit is part of the continued effort of the NYC to instill the spirit of nationalism among the Filipino youth,” NYC Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Julius Gutierez said.
Among the topics to be tackled in the summit are: promoting youth entrepreneurship, sports, and well-being; promoting gender and equality and youth empowerment; orienting youth leaders on the harmful effects of illegal drugs on their health and to their communities; partnering with students and the role of SK leaders in helping out-of-school youth; and promoting Filipino core values, among others. (PNA)