The Western Visayas Communications Roadshow continued with a Youth Consultation on Policy Direction, held on April 19, 2012 at the University of Iloilo in Iloilo City. It was presided over by Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda and Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte. The audience was composed of 150 college students and members of the academe of Western Visayas, the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP), and the Association of Political Science Students in Iloilo (APSSI).
To the participants of the Youth Consultation on Policy Direction held with the OPS-PCDSPO, the Aquino Administration’s overarching philosophy for good governance was clear: Daylight.
Daylight was, as President Benigno S. Aquino III himself described it, the “[upholding] of transparency over secrecy, of accountability over impunity, and of citizen participation over collusion.” This relationship between the government and the people was apparent in the PHINMA Audio-Visual Hall that held the Youth Consultation—it was palpable in the easy conversations among Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, and the members of the audience; Daylight was felt in the lively forum that hinted at the proactive citizen engagement increasingly expected from and faithfully delivered by an overwhelming majority of the nation’s youth.
Conversing with OPS-PCDSPO staff after the event, Jo Jan Paul Peñol described today’s Filipino youth as “vigilant,” “idealistic and having initiative,” and, particularly, possessing of a singular ability to stand as “a potent force in the government.” No one, perhaps, had better authority to speak—Peñol, after all, had been recognized, at 19, as the youngest Municipal Councilor in the country.
“We must let the people see that the youth is not ‘pabaya,’ that the youth is concerned for this generation and for those to come.” Councilor Peñol—now 21 and currently in his third year of taking Political Science and Public Administration at the Central Philippine University—attested, “The youth has a big role and a responsibility in implementing government projects and enacting ordinances in the municipalities.
Councilor Peñol credited the strengthened partnership between the youth sector and the government—a relationship marked by proactive participation and open channels of communication; with one sector encouraging and supporting the other’s aims, and vice versa.
The OPS-PCDSPO Communications Roadshows, in particular, manifests this greatly. As Councilor Peñol observed, through the roadshows, “the Aquino Administration has showcased its accomplishments and its future plans until 2016. Pinapakita rin nito ang transparency ng Administrasyong Aquino sa ‘common tao.’”
He went on to say, “What I realized is that the Aquino Administration is very humble in doing work and giving utmost public service to the people. Kaya yung iba, akala wala silang ginagawa.” Councilor Peñol observed, “Most politicians do projects and put in their names, unlike the President and his administration. The Aquino Administration works from the heart, and not from the name.”