By Daisy Jane M. Apit
BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 6 (PIA) - For the first time, Indigenous Peoples (IP) youth from the different Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs) in Caraga gathered and actively participated in a summit which equipped them to become better leaders and effective communicators.
The 4th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (4ID-AFP) in cooperation with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga recently conducted the 1st Regional IP Leadership and Communicators Summit held on December 18-21, 2015 at Tiberias Retreat House, Carmen, Agusan del Norte.
First day - Educating the hope of the future and catalysts of change
Despite the bad weather due to a low pressure area developing in the region of Caraga during that time, some 46 IP youth leaders from all over the region attended the summit in hopes of learning and becoming the efficient youth frontrunners in their respective communities.
National Movement of Young Legislators president Kirk Asis, guest speaker for the first day, encouraged the IP youth participants to be a responsible citizen.
DILG-Caraga Local Government Operations Officer Lolita Savaria-Go also gave the IP youth participants a lecture on local governance and the youth's role in governance. She reiterated that good governance is the most important factor that will eradicate poverty and promote development. One of the highlights of her discourse was that the youth should play an active role in shaping major social and political spheres of the community. She also challenged the youth to unite and move to generate transformation in the society.
To be able to understand the others, Anafe Ancheta-Lecciones, regional training specialist of DSWD-Caraga delivered a lecture on human behavior and social environment with topics self- awareness and social consciousness.
The first day was not only an educational day but also a fun introductory day for the participants. They got to have a great time at the same time, they got the chance to know each other through the introductory leadership and team building interactive playoffs facilitated by Lecciones.
Second day - Equipping the IP Youths as Information Officers
The second day of the summit was also informative for the participants. There were series of events and activities which molded them to become valuable information officers.
Cpt. Jerson Igloria, officer-in-charge of the 5th Civil Relations Group and Civil Relations Service, AFP elaborated the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) "Bayanihan" to the IP youths delegates. Igloria also emphasized that the government has initiated many programs especially for the IP communities.
"Before, our aim was to win the war, now we are winning the peace and hearts of the people," Igloria added.
PIA-Caraga regional director Abner Caga presented ideas on information and communication as a powerful tool in nation-building.
Caga stressed to the IP youth leaders and communicators that when they do things especially in attending IP YLC Summit, they must be sincere and put their hearts. He also said that one of the most effective ways of helping the nation become developed especially the IP communities which need more attention in terms of economic growth is to become better leaders and communicators. "Always remember that the best way to communicate is to communicate from the heart," he said.
Moreover, Caga shared that the most effective way to communicate is through the heart. "Now that you are trained on how to become effective communicators in your community, you are more privileged to impart your ability in disseminating information to push forward development. You will be the first IP youth communicators in the country," said Caga.
The PIA-Caraga platforms: PIA regional website, national webnews, textblast, One Mindanao E-News Magazine, PIA Caraga Updates, Advanced Forward Emergency Broadcasting System (AFEBS) Network and the PIA Mindanao Mobile App were also presented by director Caga. "These are good products of utilizing our technology for the betterment of our communities," Caga detailed.
Meanwhile, PIA-Caraga Administrative Officer and Surigao del Norte Infocen Manager Venus Garcia delivered a lecture on basic newswriting. She also encouraged the IP youth, as leaders and communicators, to participate and have active roles in shaping the future of their communities.
The second day of the summit ended by giving the participants an assignment on writing a basic news using the basic ideas and knowledge they have obtained.
Third day - Inculcating good views to mind of the future shapers
The participating IP-youths started the day with a group activity that would develop their creativity, originality and team work. They were able to expressed their thoughts and ideas in their group activity. Their views on how they want the government and IP communities to work together for peace and development were heard from them.
Fr. Carlito Clase of the Diocese of Butuan emphasized that every CADT in Caraga region should be protected. "The IP-youths have also a vital role in contributing to peace and development. You will be the leaders in the next generations that's why be responsible and do the right thing," he remarked.
"We believe that the Indigenous Peoples always want peace in the community. We respect their culture and tradition and we hoped to continue working with them as we aim to have lasting peace and sustainable development for all of us. As we protect the IP, we should also protect their land," expressed Fr. Clase.
To refresh their acquired knowledge on news writing, Nora CL Molde, regional operations chief of PIA Caraga and InfoCen Manager of Agusan del Norte presented some of the news articles written and gave some tips on how to write a news article effectively.
During the presentation of the written news articles by the participating IP-youths Jennifer Gaitano, monitoring officer of PIA Caraga encouraged the participants to make their news short and simple. "Avoid being opinionated when you are writing a straight news. Present the complete details that people should know about without giving your own opinion," she cited.
The participants were given the chance to share their inputs during the discussions.
"Through our learnings in basic news writing, I believe I can be a good communicator in my community. The conduct of this summit is very helpful for us especially that we wanted to become effective and efficient youth leaders and communicators in our respective IP communities. I will apply the knowledge that I gained from this summit and will share it to my peers when I get home," expressed Gerlie Tiambong, one of the participating youths from CADT-048 in Alegria, Surigao del Norte.
Atty. John E. C. Luneta of NCIP Caraga, the speaker during the third day presented to the 46 Indigenous Peoples (IP) youth leaders the salient features of the IP Rights Act of 1997 (R. A. 8351).
Being one of the agencies leading the event, the AFP specifically the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division showed much enthusiasm with the overwhelming contribution of the IP youths during the summit.
"This Regional IP Youth Leadership and Communicators Summit with participating IP-youths from the different CADTs in Caraga region is aimed to broaden their knowledge on the different skills that they can apply in their respective IP communities especially in the field of communication. They are the hope of our future generations that's why we have to mold them, increase their knowledge and develop their skills," disclosed LtCol Rey Pasco, CMO commanding officer of 4ID Phil. Army.
Fourth day - Graduation of the IP-Youth communicators, hope of the future
The 46 IP-youths who participated in the summit finally received their certificate of appreciation and official IP-youth communicators’ identification cards at the 4ID Advance Command Post in Camp Bancasi, this city.
LtCol Pasco and director Caga personally handed-over the certificates and IDs to the participants.
In his message during the commencement exercises, City Mayor Ferdinand Amante, Jr. as relayed by acting City Administrator Engr. Antenedo Milloren emphasized to the graduates the importance of the trainings and knowledge they have gained in promoting peace and development in the society
As guest of honor and speaker of the closing, director Caga congratulated all the participating IP-youths from the different CADTs in the region. He emphasized that hard work really pays off. He also bared that the IP youths are now officially recognized by the government as IP information officers of their respective CADT areas region-wide.
As information officers, the Caraganon IP youth leaders were not only part of the history making in attending the first ever IP Youth Leadership and Communicators Summit. Now, they are fully geared and equipped to take the challenge to disseminate proper information that will cause proper action and holistic societal transformation not only to their respective CADTs but to the whole nation as well. (VLG/NCLM/JPG/DJA/PIA-Caraga)