Iloilo, Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. has called upon the newly-elected officials of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) to collaborate in advancing the province's education and psycho-social welfare programs. This partnership aims to engage the youth in critical areas of development and welfare.
According to Philippines News Agency, during a press conference, Defensor emphasized the significant role of the youth in the present, particularly in education and psycho-social welfare. He outlined the province's plan to establish youth development centers in all secondary schools, with support from local government units.
Defensor expressed his desire to integrate the Program for Resilience of Iloilo in Mind and Emotion (PRIME), a psycho-social program developed as part of the province's pandemic recovery plan, into these teen centers and the SK. The Sangguniang Kabataan is envisioned to play a central role in identifying and addressing youth concerns through this program.
Additionally, the provincial government will involve the SK in the 'Bulig sang Eskwela sang Probinsya' (BES PROBINS) initiative, which focuses on creating an effective, relevant, and transformative education system in Iloilo. This program comprises three components: career guidance and counseling aligned with the Career Guidance and Counseling Act, a voter's education program for secondary schools, and support for public school infrastructure, facilities, and operations.
The development of the career guidance module is a collaborative effort with the Department of Education and other stakeholders, while the voter's education module is being created in partnership with the University of the Philippines Visayas. The voter's education module, nearing completion, is intended to enhance the next SK elections.
Governor Defensor's initiative underscores the importance of youth involvement in educational and socio-psychological development, fostering a more inclusive and progressive approach to local governance.