Press Release
August 12, 2014

Cayetano: Empower the youth, our future and key to national development

"The Filipino youth, our future and inspiration, should continue the struggle for empowerment and representation in governance."

As the global community observes International Youth Day today, August 12, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter "Companero" S. Cayetano called on the Filipino youth to use the power of unity and the creativity of social media to push for more youth empowerment and representation in governance, including reforms in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).

Cayetano urges today's youth to be active and to be creative, citing successes of past struggles for youth empowerment like student representation in state universities. He said the government should continue empowering the young people of this country, and focus on more spending for education; arts and culture; and sports and development.

He said there should be more young people in government, lamenting the "virtual abolition" of the SK allegedly because of perceived corruption issues.

"It is the Trapos and the older ones who teach the young corruption. Yet we virtually abolished the venue for youth participation rather than ridding our country of trapos and corrupt officials. Yung matatanda ang nagtuturo ng corruption, pero yung bata ang pinarusahan" Cayetano said.

"As the next leaders of this country, the Filipino youth should value its participation in local government by supporting policies that will strengthen their representation in politics and governance. Malawak ang access niyo sa Facebook, Twitter at Instagram. You should use these venues to be heard."

The scheduled SK polls last year was postponed to give way for the two chambers of Congress to pass a law reforming the youth council before October 28, 2014.

The Senate leader hopes the youth will back proposed laws pending in Congress which will institute systematic reforms in the SK or youth council.

"We have always been supportive of the Kabataan Barangay, then the Sangguniang Kabataan's contributions to the local communities and hence, we fully commit support to proposals that strengthen the youth council," Cayetano said.

"As champions of change, you can be the better example in good governance by implementing mechanisms in your own backyard so that public funds are spent specifically for the welfare of the youth."

Cayetano believes that when there is zero tolerance for corruption, the youth can have better access to quality education, affordable healthcare services and more employment opportunities.

"If all youth councils adhere to transparency and accountability, the Filipino youth will benefit more from meaningful projects and activities," he said.

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