Commissioner, National Youth Commission
Ambisyon Natin 2040 Youth Summit
Eastwood Central Plaza, Libis, Quezon City
09 July 2016
Director Nerissa Esguerra, esteemed guests, fellow workers in government, and to all the young people in attendance, good evening. Thank you for the invitation and allowing me to speak before you today.
I have to say that I love the play of words in AmBisyon: a combination of ambisyon, or ambition, and bisyon, or vision. A picture of the future, coupled with a strong desire to achieve it. But what does it mean for the youth? 2040 seems like a lifetime away. If you’re 18 right now, you’ll be 42 by then, and if you’re 30, well, you can do the math. They say young people aren’t exactly known for their planning skills. They say young people don’t think in the long-term. It’s all about living in the moment. They say that young people don’t worry about the important things. Well, they say a lot of things about they youth, and sometimes unfairly so. I don’t need to go into the many great and wonderful things that young people are capable of and have done. One example however, that I think deserves some mention, is the reformed Sangguniang Kabataan. It is a genuine platform for youth participation, and the initiative to reform the institution, was likewise led by the youth. Let me must take this opportunity to remind the youth that registration for the SK Elections will be from July 15-30.
But let me go back to my earlier question: what does AmBisyon 2040 mean for the youth? It means everything. AmBisyon is the collective Filipino’s dreams and ambitions, but in 25 years, who seeks to gain the most from this long term development plan? It’s the forty year old who’s only 18 now, who wants to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, secure in the knowledge that he has enough for his daily needs and unexpected expenses, that he can plan and prepare for his own and his children’s futures. And right now, can we not see the clamor of the youth, even in a platform as ubiquitous as social media, a call for a country where all citizens are free from hunger and poverty, have equal opportunities, enabled by fair and just society that is governed with order and unity?
At the end of the day, ladies and gentlemen, what most of us want can be summed up in one: a simple and comfortable life. This includes young people. As the voice and advocate of the youth, the results of AmBisyon validate everything we’ve known about young people. It isn’t about being the first to get the newest gadget. It’s not about spending hours on Facebook. And it certainly isn’t the lack of a direction and purpose in life. We’re happy that Ambisyon is also breaking down mostly negative stereotypes of the youth, but at the same time validating the essential role that the youth play in nation-building.
Thank you very much.