Lawmakers want values, critical thinking program for youth leaders

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 12) — The National Youth Commission (NYC) said it will work on including values and critical thinking in its training program for the 400,000 youth leaders across the country.

During the House Committee on Appropriations deliberations on the commission's ₱165-million 2024 budget on Monday, Manila 6th District Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr. asked NYC chairperson Ronald Cardema about their programs.

Cardema said they have training modules on centralization and local governance, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) history and salient features, government meetings and resolutions, planning and budgeting in government offices, and code of conduct and ethical standards for government officials.

Abante stressed the importance of having a moral program for SK leaders who were "considered as one of most corrupt among elected officials."

"Any kind of training on nation building would tantamount to nothing if the young people will not be able to really know what love of God and love of country is concerned," the lawmaker pointed out. "Even now that we are concerned about giving empowerment to our youth, there ought to be a very, very good training program which should be given prime importance as far as moral transformation is concerned."

After the village polls this October, Cardema said the elected SK will be gathered and oriented about their duty to the country, and the moral guidance that can be inculcated in them so they will have a direction as the country's future leaders.

Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman, on the other hand, pushed for a critical thinking program for youth leaders.

"Those modules, I did not see any aspect on training them to be adept in critical thinking," he said. "I think you should do that because we should be able to have youth leaders who are not only ‘yes’ men but who could be important advocates of various crusades, particularly on being critical about issues that concern them and also the nation as well."

Cardema agreed with Lagman and said it will be incorporated in their leadership module.