DEVELOPMENT is never an accident. It is the result of careful planning and passionate advocacy. It is the product of the commitment and efforts of both duty-bearers and stakeholders. This is most true in the case of youth development.

Development begins with a vision. The vision statement of the National Youth Commission (NYC) is also a clear and accessible articulation of what youth development means especially in the Philippine context, "enabled, involved and patriotic youth realizing their aspirations".

This statement guides the direction and conduct of the agency. It is also an expression of commitment of the agency to its youth constituents.

As provided for by Republic Act 8044 or the Youth in Nation-building Act, achieving the shared vision of youth development begins with the crafting of a development plan that will identify strategies that shall serve as a blueprint for youth policies, programs and activities at the national and local levels. The law mandates the "formulation, approval and implementation of the Medium-Term Youth Development Program (MTYDP) which shall be aligned to and shall complement the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan for the corresponding period"

In 2011, the MTYDP was renamed as the Philippine Youth Development Plan (PYDP) to reflect and highlight the scope and relevance of youth development as a national agenda. PYDP 2011- 2016 seeks to assure the survival of those at risk, protect and develop those with potential and provide opportunities for all to participate in decision-making.

The previous PYDP revolutionized in many ways youth engagement in the transformation of the nation by recasting young people as agents of reform. The overarching strategy was to provide the youth with opportunities to acquire adequate skills and opportunities for their personal and social growth, which included entrepreneurship, education and training. One of the main focus of that plan was to reduce the deterrents to youth development so the youth can fully realize their potentials.

PYDP 2017-2022 builds on the thrusts of the administration which center on poverty reduction and social inclusion, environmental sustainability, climate change and disaster risk management, responsive and participatory governance, and peace and security. The PYDP 2017-2022 is focused on the participation of the Filipino youth as a development strategy and outcome.

The working draft of the plan defines participation "in terms of attendance, involvement, and engagement in the conceptualization and implementation of pro-youth policies, programs and projects.

Participation is behavioral in nature. It signifies activity. It goes beyond and builds upon awareness, knowledge, attitude, and intent. In the long term, it translates to practice."

The new PYDP identified eight centers of participation integral to youth development in the country. The centers of youth participation are health, education, economy, social inclusion and equity, governance, active citizenship, environment and global partnerships. In each of these centers, targets and outcomes were set to be achieved in the next five years.

Feminist journalist Gloria Steinem once said "dreaming, after all, is a form of planning." The dreams of and for young people have been laid out, we must ensure that they will all come true.