Youth Leaders converged at the Philippine Model Congress 2014 (PMC2014)
Last September 13 and 14, 400 youth leaders, chosen out of more than 1,000 applicants from all over the Philippines, filed into the hallowed halls of the Philippine Senate for the Philippine Model Congress 2014 (PMC2014). An annual youth-led initiative that effectively simulates the Philippine legislative process, the PMC provides students with the opportunity to engage in mature discussions on numerous issues currently affecting the country and to listen to various notable speakers from various sectors.
Senate Tax and Research Office Director General Atty. Rogelio Dascil opened the congress while Speaker Sonny Belmonte, through Marikina 2nd District Representative Miro Quimbo, explained his view of the youth’s role in nation building. NYC Commissioner JP Penol spoke on youth empowerment and, together with Congressman Quimbo responded to various delegate questions through a subsequent open forum. Miss Mylene Abiva spoke on the second day on alternative education and its ability to develop the various skills of the youth, while Senator Loren Legarda graced the event with her presentation on climate change and sustainable development. The following open forum allowed Sen. Legarda to elucidate the answers to the various questions that delegates had, both on the environment and on other notable government reforms.
The bills drafted by the participants in the committee sessions ranged from integration and expansion of public transportation to the integration of additional medical and educational reform. Out of the 14 that were passed, two bills, namely the Disaster Assistance and Risk Management Act of 2014 and the Indigenous Peoples Knowledge and Awareness Development bill, were successfully passed in the general plenary, and will be proposed, together with the rest of the bills passed in the committee sessions, to members of the Senate and Congress who would be willing to further develop these.
Executive Directors Sean Angsanto and Angelo Santiago share that as future leaders of the country, it is the responsibility of the youth to look upon the various social issues plaguing the country with urgency and concern. It is likewise necessary for the youth to actively participate in pushing for reform and development in both the private and public sectors. Santiago tells, “We are blessed to have been given the opportunity to share and discuss various advocacies and views on social issues with the delegates over the duration of the congress. That, together with dedication of our team, insight of our speakers and support of our partners and the Senate all contributed to the success of the event. The various insights brought about by the event will hopefully encourage our youth to work towards the positive change we want for our country.”
“It is amazing and inspiring to see that in spite of the less than desirable weather, the passion and enthusiasm of our delegates remained high and undeterred. Moreover, despite having differing opinions, ideologies, and perspectives, it was evident that all participants had one common goal in mind – to create a better Philippines. We look forward to seeing them truly redefine the role of the Filipino youth in the years to come,” added Angsanto.
The success of this year’s Philippine Model Congress was made possible by the generous support of its official partners Manulife Philippines and the San Miguel Corporation. It was also made possible by Phinma Corporation, Sprint Transport, and Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham, the official PMC2014 hotel partner.