April 2, 2023

The Police Regional Office-Cordillera has conducted an online information drive on illegal drugs and terrorism.
The Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo (KKDAT) officers and focal persons of the Cordillera spearheaded the information campaign dubbed, “Empowering our youth in nation building” with 98 participants. The KKDAT is a program of the Philippine National Police to support the End Local Communist Armed Conflict (Elcac) campaign, which aims to influence the youth to be partners in nation-building.
I commend this activity because amidst the pandemic, the PNP is initiating creativity to spread positivity.
I am thankful that I became a part of this noble program by being the resource speaker through the invitation of Francisco B. Bulwayan, officer-in-charge of the Regional Community Affairs and Development Division. Sharing God and his goodness to the young people is my humble contribution to the world in health crisis.
I wish to share my points for other Sangguniang Kabataan members to read, ponder, tag, and share too.
Empowering the youth must mean that the two inseparable systems must collaborate – the external support system and the internal support system. I consider the external support system as empowerment from the government, the school, the church, the community, and the family. The internal support system must be an empowerment among the youth themselves.
My message and lecture was founded on the BIBLE, which stands for Basic Instruction Before Leaving the Earth and of course it is the Word of God, which is written to be read and lived.
It helps to see the youth in the Bible to appreciate more and deepen our understanding on youth empowerment.
We go to the gospel of Mark 10:13-16. This is a beautiful biblical passage we often use during the celebration of baptism.
“People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them, and blessed them.”
The bible narrative emphasizes how Jesus has empowered the children. The disciples were supposed to be the first ones to bring the children close to Jesus for blessing but they instead rebuked them. Jesus saw the plight of the children so he intervened by correcting the attitude and reaction of the disciples. Jesus was angered by the rude action of his disciples. He commanded the disciples to bring the children to him. He called the children, took them in his arms, and blessed them. He used the imagery of the children to talk about the kingdom of God.
Empowering the youth must be founded on the heart of Jesus to the children. Children and the youth are powerless in a sense that they are dependent on their families and parents for their daily living. In Hebrew, the children and the youth are called “Anawim”, which means the poor of God. Hence, if we abuse them and neglect them, we offend God. God will defend them and protect them and those who mistreat them are answerable to Him.
Therefore, if we care for them and empower them, God will be happy and will reward us. It is our moral and social responsibility to empower the youth.
Jesus showed how we should empower them. Hence, the external support system must collaborate to empower the youth.
Pope Francis reiterated that empowerment will be in vain if it lives on empty promises and by sheer verbal learning. The youth must experience and encounter learning and this is what I dub as “E2.”
See you on my succeeding articles on the youth. Reach me at [email protected] or at 0908-727-6735.

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