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The Role of Youth in the Philippines Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by VOICEMASTER, Philippines Jul 29, 2003
Human Rights   Short Stories
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The Philippines today is tormented with various social afflictions – poverty, crime, corruption, and indifference. Just as Jose Rizal and others like him exclaimed, the task of cultivating the motherland is burdened upon the youth. Hence, how can we address these social ills plaguing Philippine Society? What role does the youth play in addressing these social ills?

The youth, which by legal definition comprises those who are 15 to 30 years old, comprises almost one-third of the country’s population. Given their large share in the Filipino population, the youth increasingly play a large role in the development of the Philippine society. Their attitudes, values, mind-set, and priorities will determine the development of the country in the future. With the crucial role the society has placed upon the youth, it is imperative to instill a positive outlook upon today’s youth that will orient them towards development. With that in mind, how does the youth view and react to this challenge?

According to a Social Weather Station (SWS) survey, the youth acknowledge economic matters, crime, and governance as the country’s main problems. However, despite the fact that they acknowledged the severity of these problems, most of them respond with either helplessness or apathy when asked what they can do to help solve them. This is reflected in the youth’s behavior towards involvement and participation in organizations and activities. According to SWS, Filipinos are not joiners. Only one of eight Filipino youth are involved in religious or recreational organizations and only one oft of ten youth organizations. Furthermore, the Filipino youth was found to have unexpectedly high incidences of involvement in illegal activities such as illegal drug use, criminality, and illicit sex. Given these disturbing facts about Filipino youth, will they have the ability to address the various social ills of the country?

The Global Partnership for Youth Development, suggested that one way to overcome the problems of the youth and to better equip them towards the development of the society is through youth empowerment. Empowerment could be manifested through greater opportunities for the youth. The Youth must be given opportunities to participate in community life and capacity building. Their leadership needs to be harnessed? Hence, opportunities such as the Sangguniang Kabataan, volunteer projects such as Habitat for Humanity, where youth volunteers build housing for the poor. Also the National Youth Commissions Projects such as Green Brigade, National Youth Parliament and the National Youth Summit or (Pambansang Ugong Ng Kabataan) which I am an alumni, are examples of events that some Filipino youth participate in to help solve the country'’ social problems.

According to the Filipino Youth Study survey conducted by the Global Filipino Foundation in 2001, Media and technology are the other big things in their life. TV and radio have the highest reach. Technology is still a function of class, but the Internet Cafes mushrooming in our midst will democratize their availability to the youth. Globalization will happen faster in this generation as the world opens up though media and technology. According to the youth, with the Internet, they can learn about anything.
The Internet is a great tool for building youth empowerment. We can create our own web pages to promote youth participation. Like my webpage: www.kabataan.htmlplanet.com. Youth can develop international solidarity by participating in online discussions, such as those held by Takingitglobal.org and YouthActionNet.Org where I was one of the featured youth leaders. We can use the Internet to connect with international youth organizations such as Advocates for youth, International Student Activism Alliance, and Global Youth Action Network.

Unfortunately, computers and Internet access are not available to many youth, especially in Third-World countries. This elimination in a technology-driven global community is equivalent to withholding humanitarian aid to victims of famine. Therefore, one of the major tasks for youth wanting to ensure youth participation and development is to find creative solutions to this imbalance. We could "encourage" generosity from big computer companies by asking them to supply schools and libraries in third-world countries with computers. We could lobby Congress to give incentives to businesses that bring computer technology and the Internet to all disenfranchised people.

Thus, the youth could inspire both hope and fear in the society. Fear in the form of apathy, criminality, and immorality. Hope in the form of participation, concern and volunteerism. Solving the country’s social problems, then, is a challenge for the youth to bring hope rather than fear into our society.

The youth have a crucial role to play in shaping the future of our county, have that there is no doubt. They have proven that they can be powerful agents of change. The question is, are they up to the challenge?

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its nice
liza | Nov 17th, 2003
i comment that the article is nice and meaningfull. some of the youth today is very aggresive and dominant nowadays. one thing more dr. jose rizal is said that "Kabataan ay ating pag-asa" its not true because of the way of living today of the youth. lack of education, they involve in crimes such as drugs, sex slaves, and many more. our government is not give some attension for them. i think all the parents of the youth will be guiden in good and stay away from bad habbits. for did not desroyed our lives in youth. i want a change now. act now not later. i want a progress life in youth.

lance | Aug 17th, 2009
hey dud. i wanted to use this article of yours as a piece in a contest. i shall disseminate much on what you have written. i hope it'll be fine with you. sorry if its been about years since the last comment but i really find the content appealing and worth orating. more power to you dud

With my BIG UNITY..^_^
Edralin H. Sara | Sep 9th, 2010
One thing struck me most, is that you really adorable person in the fact that your heart remain as a good and energetic young leader of our country...Sir CHOY!...In the name of GOD SALUTE YOU!..Your One of the MILLION STAR in this WORLD... Maybe you wonder of...But I really amazed in everything you do in this world..Honestly, I really appreciates your write ups..In the fact that,the reality is there..lot of that, is true, in our nations, and all over the universe..What we are now is the fruit of our grand great hero's and above all our very own GOD the FATHER!... I stand before you,..I love to serve our fellow young people..I been searching for what really mean of LIFE for me...I always look back for the youth..As I go along my path of Journey!...I meet a lot of experiences from those young people...They serve as my Inspiration in life..How I wish I could be one person also in helping and building UNITY and LOVE for our young people of the next generation...^_^

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