US Ambassador salutes Mindanaoan ‘graduates’

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Thursday, October 4, 2012


UNITED States Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr. hailed the unprecedented achievements of the Mindanao youth who were trained under a Congressional internship program supported by both the Philippine and U.S. governments.

Thomas and House Secretary General Marilyn Yap handed certificates of completion to 52 young interns from Mindanao during the 13th completion ceremony of the Congressional Internship Program for Young Mindanao Leaders (CIPYMYL) at the Century Park Hotel in Manila.

CIPYMYL is jointly sponsored by the Philippine House of Representatives and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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The program, now on its 10th year, aims to enhance the commitment of young people to democratic values and institutions in Mindanao, expand the pool of Mindanao’s young men and women who have a broad understanding of governance and issues, and provide Congress increased opportunities to interact with articulate Mindanaoans.

“This successful program began with the simple idea that together, the Philippine and U.S. Governments can offer promising leaders from Mindanao the opportunity to take an active role in nation building through policy formation and legislation,” Thomas.

He added that they started almost 10 years ago with a small group of 10 interns who would form the nucleus of young leaders with the commitment to build democratic institutions in Mindanao.

“Now, with 325 CIPYMYL graduates, our hopes have been greatly realized -- the achievements of our interns far exceeded our expectations,” the Ambassador said.

Currently, 83 CIPYMYL graduates hold key positions in the national and local governments while others are in the private sector and academe.

The four-month internship program included a three-week introductory course at the Mindanao State University in Marawi City, a 12-day training on public policy development and advocacy at the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG) Center for Professional and Executive Development (CPED), and a 13-week internship at the House of Representatives.

USAID/Philippines Mission Director Gloria D. Steele, MSU President Macapado Muslim and Vice-President Rolly Macalandong, UP-NCPAG Dean Edna Co., CPED Director Dan Saguil and Mindanao Development Authority Senior Development Management Officer Ramon Cesar Reynaldo also participated in the event. (PR)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 04, 2012.

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