By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Kabataan partylist Rep. Sarah Jane Elago expressed hope yesterday that the substitute bill declaring August 12 of every year as the National Youth Day would hurdle the plenary by last week of January next year.
The Makabayan lawmaker sought the final passage of the bill, which seeks to “inculcate patriotism and nationalism” among the Filipino youth and encourage their involvement on public and civic affairs.
“Hopefully, the plenary can pass the bill in January last week. It would be a great opening year salvo for the youth if it were passed in January,” she said in an interview, after the House Committee on Youth and Sports Development endorsed the bill for plenary approval.
Elago, one of the principal authors of the bill, said the youth’s role in nation-building can never be underestimated or belittled.
“The annual national commemoration aims for a decentralized celebration of the United Nations’ internationally-observed youth day in schools and communities in order to encourage program and project initiatives highlighting efforts, experiences, struggles, developments, and victories of the young people for the common good of the people and the nation,”she said.
She noted that August 12 is the same day that the International Youth Day is celebrated.
The International Youth Day was established on December 17, 1999 after the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation of the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth that August 12 be declared as the International Youth Day, Elago said.
“This comes at an opportune time to send a strong message that the youth holds an eternal spring of inspiration and hope despite the escalating harassment, surveillance and other attacks among their ranks of independent, critical, and progressive voices,” she said.
For his part, Pangasinan Rep. Tyrone Agabas, one of the principal authors of the bill, said “to fully recognize the vital role of the youth,” August 12 of each year should be declared as National Youth Day in the country
He noted that during the previous 17th Congress, the House of Representatives approved the measure on third and final reading.
The bill tasks the National Youth Commission (NYC), in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to prepare and implement an annual program of activities.
It mandates the NYC to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act within 60 days after its effectivity.