Youth agenda in choosing next PH leaders bared

Published September 13, 2021, 5:09 PM

by Raymund Antonio

The youth arm of opposition coalition 1Sambayan on Monday, September 13, unveiled its 11-point agenda, which includes education, economic recovery, livable wages, economic protection, human rights, and national sovereignty, for the 2022 national election.

1Sambayan Youth, which is comprised of various youth groups from different sectors, aims for “safe, quality, and accessible education” since “the rate of (increase of) out-of-school children and youth is growing.”

1Sambayan youth convenor Renee Co (1Sambayan/ Facebook)

With the pandemic, this number will balloon to four million this year alone, the group said.

It also wants the next administration to “Reallocate military, intelligence, and NTF-ELCAC funds for education” and pass the Students’ Rights and Welfare Bill, among others.

They also criticized the government for the “inadequate national response” to the pandemic as they called on for “attainable and quality basic social services.”

In particular, the coalition of youth groups wants to stop the “overproduction of waste and overexploitation of natural resources.”

“We, the youth, call to act now to combat climate change, conserve the oceans, seas, and marine resources, and protect terrestrial ecosystems by managing forests and combating desertification, land degradation, and biodiversity loss while promoting sustainable development and use,” Flynn Buenaflor and Alyssa Belda of Youth Strike 4 Climate said.

READ: Opposition coalition 1Sambayan launches university chapters

And amid intensifying human rights abuses with the war on drugs resulting in deaths of thousands of people, the coalition called for “justice for all the victims of innumerable attacks and killings by the current administration” and the prosecution of President Duterte and his alleged accomplices.

The group wants the next leaders to prioritize the country and Filipinos in international relations.

“We, the youth, push for an independent foreign policy that upholds human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the respect of international law; ensures lasting peace; and provides for multilateral solutions and genuine cooperation at a global level to combat global challenges,” Asher Serrana of 1Sambayan Youth Overseas said.

1Sambayan Youth is also drawing the light on other issues that affect them, among those are decent jobs and livable wages, rural development, just and lasting peace in the southern Philippines, equality and social protection for all, press freedom, and, good governance, strong democratic institutions, and youth empowerment.

“More importantly, we call for greater inclusion of youth in political spaces through increasing the number of registered youth voters, active involvement in planning for national and local policies, and opening of more government seats to members of the youth,” Rae Reposar, 1Sambayan youth convenor, said.

Another 1Sambayan youth convenor, Renee Co, said that they crafted the comprehensive 11-point youth agenda “after careful deliberation and extensive consultation.”

“We have gathered insights and recommendations from different youth groups to address the pressing issues of the youth sector today. We have consolidated a wide variety of inputs to collate youth-centered solutions to the current societal problems the youth face today. Through this collaboration, the broad coalition believes that a just, equitable, and progressive society is possible and within our reach,” Co added.

READ: After Ateneo, La Salle chapters, 1Sambayan to expand youth arm in other universities

The coalition is comprised of Rise for Education, Millennials PH, Innovative Youth Movement, KATRIBU National, Youth Strike 4 Climate, We The Future PH, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines, PANTAY, and the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines.