By BSU UPAO - Posted on 24 October 2017

 

Geared towards understanding the role of the Benguet youth in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) arena, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) together with Benguet State University (BSU) conducted a Youth Forum at the BSU Gymnasium on October 23, 2017.

“The youth of today has a greater opportunity to explore the world,” opened BSU President Feliciano G. Calora, Jr. encouraging the Benguet student participants that with the ASEAN integration, the youth have a wide scope of opportunities abroad. He also added that they start by processing their own passports.

After the welcome remarks, Marie Carolyn Verano, Schools Division Superintendent of the Department of Education (DepEd) Schools Division of Benguet gave an inspirational talk and motivated the students to strive in the global arena.

“It is now time for you to make our world better,” expressed Verano.

Understanding ASEAN and the Youth

Joseph B. Zambrano, Information Officer of PIA – CAR presented the ASEAN overview. He said that as of this year, the Philippines was chosen to be the chair of ASEAN 2017 with the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”.

Zambrano said that ASEAN is a community of opportunities. These opportunities include generation of jobs, easy access to work abroad, a stronger protection within nations, and maritime stability. He added that the ASEAN countries have a vast economic market with 624 million possible consumers in the ASEAN market.

After Zambrano’s piece, Menzie Kuengan, Supervising Education Program Specialist of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), presented opportunities for Colleges and Universities in the ASEAN community. Kuengan presented also the different memorandum orders in line with ASEAN partnerships in the academic arena.

“Shoot for the moon, because though you will miss it, you’d still land on the stars,” Kuengan expressed.

The talks ensued with Kimberly Molitas, Police Chief Inspector of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCPRO) talking about ASEAN 2017 and the Government’s Program on Illegal Drugs.

According to Molitas, the ASEAN is created because it wants to uphold the most important factor between the ASEAN countries: peace and security. She said that peace and security is tantamount to economic development and ASEAN is trying its best to uphold maritime security and avoid transnational crimes.

Transnational crimes refer to crimes that are committed between countries. Molitas identified a few: drug smuggling, arms smuggling, piracy, human trafficking, and cybercrime. Focusing on illegal drugs, Molitas added that the Philippines is a trans-shipment of drugs due to the loose security on our maritime laws.

Molitas said that such is one of the reasons why ASEAN is formed. She added that to control the situation is to resolve transnational issues the traditional way.

“That is why we have ASEAN, we sit down together, we talk together, and we resolve our issues,” she added.

Molitas said that there are four roles that the youth can contribute on the war on illegal drugs: it is to be informed, be involved, be courageous, and be resilient. She added that the youth can utilize any available resources such as social media to be able to support the government.

Further, Molitas encouraged the students to be proud of the Cordilleran culture. She said that the Cordilleran culture is a culture that sees the goodness in every person. Molitas added that Cordillerans should share the culture of unity and humanity and the Philippines would become one of the greatest nations in the world.

“We want to build a nation that that is safe for you, so that the Philippines is a country worth living for and dying for, do you believe that?” posed Molitas to the participants of the forum.

Participants came from different schools of Benguet including BSU, King’s College Philippines, Cordillera Career Development College, Pines City Colleges, Fianza Memorial National High School, Taluy Sur National High School, Tuba National High School, Governor Bado Dangwa Agro-Industrial School Extension, Kapangan Central National High School, Benguet National High School – Main, Bakun Nation High School – Sinacbat Extension, Evelio Javier Memorial National High School – Main, La Trinidad National High School, Tublay School of Home Industries, Loakan National High School, and Alejo M. Pacalso memorial National High School.//MDPenchog