June 14, 2024

Various youth-serving organizations and students from higher education institutions in Baguio City and Benguet participated in the first installment of “Devolution Discourses,” a series of activities organized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government-Cordillera geared towards engaging stakeholders in disseminating information regarding Executive Order 138 that provides guidelines on the full devolution of certain functions of the executive branch to local government units.
DILG-Cordillera Director Araceli A. San Jose, in a message delivered by Local Government Capacity Development Division Chief Kristoffer Dave R. Alvarez, underscored the youth’s contribution in participative good governance especially in sharing their insights on the implementation of devolution.
“Ito ay pagkakataon upang makibahagi ang kabataan upang matulungan ang mga lokal na pamahalaang makatawid tungo sa ganap na desentralisasyon. Participative good governance fosters an inclusive atmosphere where stakeholders can take part in the shaping and reshaping of their communities,” she said.
“Devolution Discourses,” with the theme “Crossroads and collaborations for youth participation towards full devolution,” featured speakers from the DILG-Cordillera, the National Youth Commission, and the National Economic Development Authority-Cordillera who talked on topics centered on the youth’s role in the devolution process.
Gerald B. Duagan, Development Management Officer IV of DILG-Cordillera, explained the salient provisions of EO 138, which provided the participants a background on devolution.
He also discussed the landmark Supreme Court ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia petitions to contextualize the implementation of full devolution.
He briefed the youth participants on the devolution transition plans and emphasized the LGUs’ assumption of a “stronger implementing role” and their responsibility of providing basic services and facilities fully devolved to them.
Duagan said the youth can work on prospects towards local autonomy specifically on broader citizen participation, developments based on local contexts and conditions, and expanded service delivery capacity.
Sheridan Athena Y. Gajete, NYC Regional Cluster Head for Region 1 and Cordillera, talked on the “Role of the Youth in the Local Development Process.”
She encouraged the youth to participate in development processes and undertakings, giving special importance on the impact of the youth vote, as emphasized on the Philippine Youth Development Plan for 2017-2022, which is geared towards enabling and empowering youth participation in key areas such as governance, active citizenship, and economic empowerment.
“Participation entails youth attendance and immersion in programs and projects conceptualized for, by, and with them. Thus, in the long term, participation translates to the youth’s proactive and constant engagement in the development of Philippine society.”
Aries Dos M. Campos, NEDA-Cordillera Senior Economic Development Specialist, who spoke on “Devolution and Autonomy: Salient Features and Opportunities for Youth Participation,” said the successful implementation of EO 138 will better prepare the Cordillera for autonomy.
This comes after improving the efficiency and competitiveness of LGUs and strengthening their development planning, investment programming, and budgeting upon assuming their devolved functions.
Campos added autonomy will provide the Cordilleran youth better protection and empowerment and better educational opportunities and facilities and will aid in the development of culturally-sensitive education through the development of a curricula responsive to safeguarding cultural heritage and the appreciation of ethnic identities.
DILG-Cordillera Local Government Operations Officer V Alfrainer F. Partido said the activity aimed to inform, empower, and equip the youth with the knowledge they need to become effective leaders in their communities.
He enjoined the youth to become initiators of change and to take every opportunity to capacitate themselves to better serve their community and the country. – Press release