CITY of San Fernando mayor Edwin Santiago must be right in saying that the youth are the ones who bring fresh and new and better ideas for the city. They help in the formulation of plans for the new San Fernando in creating a green, smart and liveable city.

Mayor Santiago is talking sense. He emphasizes the role of the youth in nation building by building a city that is liveable and conducive not only for the children but also for all Fernandinos who are permanent residents or transients as well.

Indeed, the youth is the hope of the motherland and the city if we would do away with the overused adage about the youth and limit it to the metes and bounds of the capital city of Pampanga.

The local chief executive has recognized the role of the youth in building the city as they bring fresh and new ideas for the improvement and development of San Fernando. He added in his speech before the members of the Local Council for the Protection of Children that the city is done with guarding the rights and protecting children and they are now part of the dream of creating a new San Fernando.

The intention of giving new roles to the youth might be noble and in fact it means giving proper exposure to the young on the city’s growth and development. However, the city should not stop in protecting the rights of children regardless of the role they are now given.

November is Children’s Month. Celebrating the month is much better if the city can do away with children begging for some coins in jeepney terminals, sidewalks and alleys. To date, mendicancy still exists in the city. In some instances, some adult mendicants even carry their young in their arms to solicit perhaps more mercy from people they beg.

Giving recognition to the youth is more proper if only the city can enforce its laws against parents who have their young children with them riding in motorcycles. Despite some local laws, we can still see some motorcycle riders with young children “sandwiched” in between adult persons riding in tandem.

The city might as well appreciate the role of the youth if there are no more young ambulant or sidewalk vendors in the city. These young children are better placed in schools studying and not in streets “prematurely” making a living while at their young age.

Before taking on their new roles as givers of innovative ideas in building a liveable, smart and green city, the youth should be given more attention as they are.

We can see ideas anyway if only we would look to their present living conditions and the need for sufficient protection they do deserve. Prior to letting them embark in their new roles in city building, their social living conditions should be further improved first.


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