COTABATO CITY—To ensure meaningful youth policy-making while strengthening policy development in the region, the Bangsamoro Youth Commission (BYC) launched on Sunday, Dec. 11, its first-ever Youth Policy Development Manual.
The manual shall serve as the principal guiding document of BYC in fortifying its policy development processes across Bangsamoro region while meaningfully engaging wide arrays of stakeholders in all levels of governance.
BYC Chairperson Marjanie Macasalong, in his message read by Commissioner Nasserudin Dunding, described the policy manual as a major feat for the commission.
“This Manual is such a major feat in our Commission. It is a document that forms part of our mission of laying the foundations of an ever-functioning Commission that knows which appropriate road it will take and which policy direction it will set forth for the ministries, agencies, and offices implementing programs relevant to our Bangsamoro youth,” said Macasalong.
Based on the said manual, all entities in the region, whether an organized one or an individual, could be proponents of enabling solutions in the quest for the welfare of the youth sector.
Rodolfo Matucan Jr., development management officer of BYC who served as the Project Leader and head secretariat, emphasized the needs to provide required space for youth and their inclusion in initiatives aiming to address broad societal issues not limited on “youth issues” based on stereotypes and assumptions.
“Youth, in their plurality, should also have the space to define their issues and act upon them – not just sit at the table, but also shape the agenda,” Matucan said.
In yesterday’s launching, the stakeholders got a chance to meet in flesh the brilliant individuals behind the development of the manual. One of them is a fourth-year International Studies student Lemuel Dicolano from Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan who challenged the Commission to advance the welfare of youth in the region and fight for their dreams.
“Give us the quality of life and state of legislation which were deprived of you because of your previous circumstances,” said Dicolano.
As one of the volunteer writers, Dicolano cited that he was initially hesitant when he got the invitation. Being a graduating student currently writing his thesis, he was worried about how to juggle the responsibilities, particularly traveling from Cagayan to Cotabato would take almost a day. Nevertheless, the young man accepted the challenge.
As he delivered his speech yesterday, he asked everyone in the hall to pursue the aspirations of every Bangsamoro youth.
“Ipaglaban ninyo ang aming mga pangarap. Ipaglaban niyo ang mga bagay na ipinagkait sa inyo para sa amin, ipaglaban ninyo kami,” Dicolano said as he ended his speech.
While the youth sector continually calls for inclusive decision-making in the region, the Government of the Day never fails to provide space for their voices to be heard. Hence, Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim believed that the policy manual would ensure systematic approaches in policy making.
“Crafting this Policy Development Manual enables the BYC to formulate decisions in a more systematic manner, have a better perspective on how these decisions will be implemented, and maximize the resources of the agency to efficiently deliver quality services for the welfare of the youth,” said Ebrahim.
Aside from Chief Minister Ebrahim, Speaker of the Parliament Atty. Pangalian Balindong has also committed to support the BYC in all its endeavors.
“The Parliament will be completely supportive of all your endeavors, especially in enacting legislation for the youth. Rest assured that the Parliament will treat such proposals as priority legislation,” said Balindong.
The formulation of the manual was supported by the International Organization for Migration through the Supporting Conflict Transformation Toward Effective Peacebuilding in the Bangsamoro Region (STEP-BARMM) project. (Abdullah Matucan/BIO)