In this file photo, National Youth Commission Chairman Ronald Cardema holds a press conference.
National Youth Commission, Released
Youth commission now a 'billboard' for poll bet, former chair claims
(philstar.com) - January 17, 2019 - 5:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — The National Youth Commission has become a platform for politicians, a former chairperson said Thursday.

Gio Tingson, NYC chair during the Aquino administration, called out NYC Chairman Ronald Cardema—also chair of the Duterte Youth Movement—for giving senatorial aspirant Christopher “Bong” Go official recognition as “Pambansang Kuya ng Kabataan (National Big Brother of the Youth)” for his supposed initiatives that benefited the youth.

NYC said in an official resolution that the former presidential aide’s health and sports projects have contributed to national youth development, a report by state-run Philippine News Agency said. 

But Tingson, now a spokesperson for Akbayan party-list, called the move of the youth commission “very disappointing.”

“Tila naging billboard na lang ang papel ng opisina para sa isang kandidato ng administrasyon (It seems that the mandate of the office has been reduced to a billboard for an administration bet),” Tingson said.

Go, who officially resigned as presidential aide when he filed his candidacy papers, is still often seen with President Rodrigo Duterte at official events. Other administration allies have also been promoting him at official functions.

RELATED: Solon in PRC video says ‘no license’ remark for not knowing Bong Go a joke

'Focus on the welfare of Filipino youth'

He called on the current leadership to focus instead on the welfare of Filipino youth, not politicians.

The NYC is the policy-making coordinating body of all youth-related institutions, programs, projects and activities of the government, according to the Youth in Nation Building Act of 1995.

Under the same law, its stated objectives include leading in making policies for youth-related programs and activities; encourage wide and active youth participation in government and non-government programs; harness and develop the full potential of the youth as partners in nation-building; and supplement government appropriations for youth promotion and development.

“Malaki ang papel ng NYC para sa aksyon at solusyon para sa mga kabataan (NYC plays a big role in formulation action and solution for the youth),” Tingson said.

He added: “Noon, tinutulungan nating makabalik sa paaralan ang mga mag-aaral, hindi pinapatay sa Tokhang. Noon, nagging suporta tayo sa paghahanap ng disenteng trabaho, hindi hinuli at kinukulong ang mga tambay daw sa kanto. Noon, kasama natin ang iba’t-ibang hanay ng mga kabataan sa paghahanap ng solusyon, hindi tinutugis ang mga youth organization.”

(Previously, we helped students go back to school, not kill them in Tokhang operations. We previously supported youth to find decent jobs, not apprehend and jail them for loitering in streets. We used to work together with various youth groups in finding solution, not threaten youth organizations.)

RELATED: TAYO Awards to continue despite split with National Youth Commission

The Cardema-led NYC had called for the return of the mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps and urged all Sangguniang Kabataan officials to counter leftist youth leaders and report anti-government propaganda.

The NYC was previously criticized for inviting Go to its event, where he asked for the support of the delegates. — Gaea Cabico

GIO TINGSON NATIONAL YOUTH COMMISSION RONALD CARDEMA
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