Speech of Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos, Jr.
Sangguniang Kabataan National Federation’s 1st Sangguniang Kabataan Joint Regional Assembly For Luzon
Solidarity Night at Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Zambales)
March 12-13, 2011
Ang Aking Minamahal na Kabataan ng ating Bayan, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
It gives me great pleasure to be here with you in your Solidarity Night which serves as the culmination of the 1st Sangguniang Kabataan Joint Regional Assembly for Luzon.
Let me first take this opportunity to congratulate the members and officers of the Sangguniang Kabataan National and Regional Federations here in Luzon for mounting this important assembly.
I am also very pleased to note the presence of some young government leaders among our Kabataans!
At this point allow me to take you down memory lane. Thirty-six years ago, on April 15, 1975, my father, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, signed Presidential Decree No. 684, an act creating the Kabataang Barangay (KB), better known today as the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK). Sixteen years after, came the passage of Republic Act 7160 better known as the Local Government Code of 1991 that institutionalized and recognized the Barangay Youth as an indispensable partner in public service.
Then of course you will remember an important legislation followed: I am referring to RA 8044, an act creating the National Youth Commission in June of 1995, that was mandated to act as the national secretariat for the SK National Federation. This law likewise established a national comprehensive and coordinated program on youth development, and appropriating funds thereof.
Kung mayroon mang isa sa pinakamalaking ambag na nagawa ang aking ama sa ating bansa, ito po ay ang pagkakatatag ng KB o sa ngayon ay SK, sapagkat ito ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na binigyan ng karapatan ang hanay ng mga kabataan na marinig ang tinig sa lahat ng antas ng lipunan. Walang kumukuwestiyun sa motibo ng aking ama na dapat bigyan ng oportunidad ang kabataan na maging bahagi ng pamahalaan sapagkat nanatiling prayoridad sa ating Konstitusyon ang pagpapaunlad ng ating hanay.Sa totoo lang, bibihira sa buong daigdig na binibigyan ng ganitong oportunidad ang mga kabataan, kaya’t dapat nating itong pagyamanin at ingatan.
Gayunman, nakakalungkot isipin na may ilang nagmumungkahi na buwagin ang SK, dahil lang sa iba’t ibang ulat na napansin ng katiwalian sa paghawak ng pondo ng mga ilan. Pero hindi kailanman tungkol sa kalidad ng liderato o pangangasiwa sa ating organisasyon. Fellow youth leaders, there are some bills pending in Congress—both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate proposing for the abolition of this institution, but I am one lawmaker who believes that the SK should not be abolished, rather that it be strengthened.
I believe, youth has the right to play a major role in governance. But in some instances, some of our fellow leaders have been used, abused, and exploited by some politicians and political parties in their selfish political agenda, thus destroying the very idealism that was expected from our young leaders. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, I am inclined to give the SK institution another chance by restructuring, reforming and re-engineering the nature of this organization in order to provide our youth, a greater or more effective role in the performance of their duty as an agent of change. The problem on corruption is not confined to the youth as can be gleaned from very recent congressional hearings. It is a menace in our own society. The answer or solution to this social cancer of ours is a serious reconstruction of a new moral value system, which has been severely damaged over the years!
It is a great challenge for our youth leaders to be at the front line of this moral reformation in order to train and produce a value-based and value-driven core of political leaders for the future governance of our nation. Indeed, our young are in a better position to understand this new moral regeneration. It is of utmost importance that young people like you, and maybe me too, that we be active in reshaping our society. It is because young people are co-creators in society not enslaved to any political leadership, helping shape the social environment we live in, responding to stimulating contemporary cultural changes brought about by the adoption of modern technologies, and ultimately inheriting the social systems that are currently in place.
Thus, it is part of your social responsibility, as youth leaders to educate and support the young generation to prepare them for their current and future challenges as productive citizens, and as active movers in nation building. The government through the enactment of laws should empower the youth with moral values that would shield them from the gargantuan threat of corruption and other festering ills of society.
During the early years of the KB, there were a lot of seminars, workshops, leadership trainings and sessions on the Filipino ideology, all geared towards enhancing the value system of the youth and to ensure the inculcation in them the love for our beloved country and fellow Filipinos. We must try not only to revive these programs, but to further improve and strengthen them in our ever-changing environment. It is essential therefore that in the schools and colleges, lectures be given by veteran resource persons of the institution – concentrating on our Filipino heritage and derived value system. This may come in the form of a “MORAL TRANSFORMATION MODULE” that will elevate the young minds to cherish their heritage and culture, to love and respect their fellow citizen, to be proud about their being Filipinos!
Let me conclude by reminding you all, the Sangguniang Kabataan, that you have a role and mission of transforming our people and our country, into a developed nation with a strong moral value system—and this can be achieved through our YOUTH POWER. For youth has got the power of ideas, ambition, enthusiasm and ability. And this resource of the youth is an important building block for transforming our country, into a prosperous nation -- to be an ENLIGHTENED PHILIPPINES!
Bilang panghuli, bago tayo maghiwalay sa gabing ito, gusto ko sanang mag-iwan ng PABAON sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng ilang habilin: Kapag may lumalapit sa atin, itanong natin sa ating sarili: Ano kaya ang maibibigay ko sa kanya na mahalaga sa kanyang pagkatao? Kapag may ipinagagawa sa atin: Tanungin natin: Kaya ko bang gawin ito nang may dignidad at may dangal?
Iisipin natin palagi: Hindi ko pababayaan na ang aking lakas at talino ay maaksaya at mauwi lamang sa wala o sa kapalpakan! Alinmang sitwasyon, kailangan natin matukoy ang ating mithiin, mag-isip nang matayog at maging praktikal —at pinakamahalaga, hindi tayo MATATAKOT NA MAKIALAM PARA SA IKAUUNLAD NG ATING MAHAL NA BAYAN!
MAGANDANG GABI, MARAMING SALAMAT AT MABUHAY ANG SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN!