ILOILO City played host to this year's celebration of the International Youth Day in Visayas themed "Youth as Dutybearers of Peace."
Around 500 participants from different youth organizations in Visayas gathered Saturday in a forum aimed to discuss the current issues being faced by the sector and plans that highlights their role towards sustainable development.
National Youth Commission (NYC) Commissioner for Visayas Rhea Penaflor, in an interview, stressed the important role of the youth as the future leaders of the country.
She presented the Philippine Youth Development Plan (PYDP) 2017-2022, which is yet to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte to become an executive order.
She disclosed that the plan covers nine areas where the youth can participate based on the assessment study they conducted. It included education, health, economic empowerment, security peace building, social equity and inclusion, environment, among others.
Youth organizations are urged to anchor their plans on the PYDP as it is also provided with strategies that could guide them attain their plans, Penaflor added.
Meanwhile, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog pointed out the "value" of the youth who are the hope of the country.
With the different issues affecting the youth like pre-marital sex, stealing and use of hard drugs, Mabilog urged the youth to be in the forefront of the campaign against the arising problems of the youth.
"If our moral values are intact and we influence each to become responsible people, then our future guarantees us with a society that is disciplined, progressive and where everybody could live in harmony," he said.
The celebration of International day kicked off Friday through the human "Peace" formation of 1,500 youths at the Institute of Science and Technology University.
"It was very sucessful and it only means that our youth are willing to join our advocacy for peace," Penaflor said.
A street dance and a mini concert was also conducted Saturday afternoon that provided venue for the youth to showcase their talents. (PNA)