June 17, 2024

The youth plays a vital role in ensuring environmental protection, good local governance, and in bringing sustainable development in every community in the country.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. highlighted this during the opening of the 6th National Youth Environmental Summit at Teachers’ Camp, Baguio City on April 22.

“Sustainable development is defined by the resources that we preserve right now, to make sure that the next generation will enjoy the same resources. Whatever resources we have now, we have to preserve and develop them,” Abalos said. 

He added the State is mindful of the vital role of the youth in nation-building and in protecting their well-being.

“It is also the State’s responsibility to instill the virtues of patriotism and nationalism in the minds of the youth, and encourage them to be involved in public and civil affairs. So napaka-importante na pangalagaan kayo, and be reminded of your responsibilities,” Abalos said.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong also outlined the important role of the youth in ensuring a sustainable environment for the future generation.

“I am deeply moved by the commitment and enthusiasm of our youth towards safeguarding our planet’s future. The challenges we face are monumental but so, too, are the opportunities for positive change. It’s time for us to unite, to harness our collective energy and creativity, and to drive forward innovative solutions for a sustainable tomorrow. So, let us not waver with our resolve. Let us be the champions of change, and the stewards of our environment,” Magalong added.

The three-day summit spearheaded by the Alliance for Greener Philippines was participated by Sangguniang Kabataan Federation officials and youth organizations from different parts of the country.

The summit’s theme is “Enhancing Collaboration among National Government Agencies, LGUs, Academe, Civil Society and Youth Organizations in the Attainment of SDGs.” 

Other guests during the opening program were Office of Civil Defense Administrator and Department of National Defense Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno and University of the Philippines Resilience Institute Executive Director Dr. Alfredo Mahar Lagmay. – Carlito Dar