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Monday, December 14, 2020

Surigao SK launches initiatives, programs for youth empowerment amid pandemic

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 14 (PIA) -- Various initiatives have been launched by the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) of Barangay Washington in Surigao City in support of the government’s programs amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

During his guesting at the ‘Bisaya Gyud’ program on November 28, the barangay SK chairperson Junrey Sarco discussed with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar the activities that the youth group launched, from initiatives concerning the pandemic to advocating for citizen’s rights.

To provide assistance to the village residents during the heightened community quarantine protocol, the SK allotted Php200,000 to help with the financial assistance provided by the Sangguniang Barangay, which aided 746 families. They also assisted in the production and distribution of relief goods provided in part by the city government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga. The SK also provided hygiene kits and washable face masks to frontline workers to provide additional assistance in their personal protective equipment (PPE).

Youth engagement was also tackled amid the pandemic through the various contests and activities they launched online. Winners were given prizes such as grocery items, face shield, and Php 50 worth of load.

The youth officials also took part in the implementation of blended learning in the village elementary school, providing reams of bond papers to be used in producing printed learning modules.

SK Chair Sarco also elaborated on the clean-up drive launched in September in partnership with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“The project is in support of the Community Support Program (CSP). We intend to impart to the public that caring for our environment and maintaining its cleanliness are still important despite the health crisis,” he said. He added that the program was a great way to promote camaraderie among the people.

Apart from these programs, the youth council pursued political campaigns involving the youth. They continued to implement their advocacy campaign “Citizen’s Rights,” which aims to educate the general public, particularly the youth, on their basic rights, particularly the rights they hold as citizens of this country. The initiative is a brainchild of the SK chairperson himself, who is a Political Science graduate.

“Advocating for the rights of our people has always been a passion of mine. Educating them of these rights and their rights as citizens of this country is the first step in upholding such rights and help them avoid abuse especially during the pandemic,” said Sarco. 

In line with cultivating a pro-government youth, the youth council and the village youth took part in the declaration of Persona Non-Grata to the communist terrorist groups (CTGs) in the country. According to the youth leader, the youth remains susceptible to the negative influence of these leftist groups, which have spurred nothing but countless unspeakable atrocities and complete violation of the people's right to live in a peaceful and secure environment.

“The youth denouncing these groups is an act of them standing up for themselves by refusing to be abused by these radical leftist entities,” said Sarco.

As the segment ended, the SK chairperson imparted a brief message to his fellow youth, stating that they remain responsible in their own households. He also urged them to speak up and raise their concerns by contacting them through Surigao City’s official Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Sangguniang-Kabataan-Surigao-Del-Norte-107483667498569/.

‘Bisaya Gyud’ is a weekly public service and entertainment program hosted by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar aired every Saturday on select radio stations across the country and streamed live on its official Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/bisayagyudph.

The program was initially launched to provide assistance to underprivileged Bisaya and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). At the height of the pandemic, the program also devoted its episodes to addressing various issues of the Bisayas concerning the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Its 'Operation Tabang' is launched to extend medical and food assistance to Bisaya all over the country, especially those who suffered greatly due to the health crisis. The program also launched its Bond Paper Gift project, which aims to assist schools in rural areas in effectively implementing distance learning by providing reams of bond papers to be used for the production of learning materials.

The program also explores Bisaya music and artists and features Bisaya success stories. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)