Imee Marcos to winners of local elections: “Sana ang victory ninyo, magiging victory ng kada barangay”

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“What is the future you want?” This was the question that Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos posed to the newly-elected Sangguniang Kabataan officers of Cauayan, Isabela, during their mandatory training last May 19, 2018.

She urged them, along with their other barangay counterparts, to make sure that their victory during the elections becomes a victory also for the youth and for every barangay.

Pag-isipan kung ano talaga ang kailangan ng kabataan sa barangay ninyo,” she told the young officials, again prodding against the overemphasis on entertainment and recreation, such as pageants and sports competitions, for which the former SK had become notorious.

Kahit kailangan ng kasiyahan sa buhay, tutukan naman kung ano ang pinaka-importanteng problema ng ating kabarangay.

The governor pointed out the problem of jobs mismatch among qualified and talented graduates, suggesting job fairs and programs like Ilocos Norte’s “Saguip Nars,” which is an employment placement program for nurses to be able to earn their required work experience while earning a stipend, as opposed to unpaid volunteer work.

She further lamented the issues of teenage pregnancy, pointing out the educational delay and economic hardship that often follows, as well as the rising number of teenage suicides.

Hindi ko alam kung dala ito ng mga OFW, balikbayan, at parents na umaalis,” she said, considering the effects of absentee parents and unstable family structure on the personal development of youth.

The governor also mentioned the advent of information technology and social media, citing the digital realm as a “powerful activism tool” but also bringing up the accompanying vulnerability to bashing, cyber-bullying, and online harassment.

Wala pa ito noong panahon namin, kaya kinakailangang tignan nang maigi kung ano ang mga hinaharap ng kabataan ngayon,” she repeated, “Magtulungan tayo, para sa ikabubuti ng kada barangay.”