Uninspiring Youth Governance

The apparent lack of accountability, delicadeza, dynamism, innovation and creativity in today’s youth governance has created further distrust among many that the youth can effect change in the future of the country. 

The National Youth Commission (NYC) has become a serious issue for its incompetence, instead of being the lead agency to address pressing and serious issues among the Filipino Youth.

The NYC is once again under hot water after Chairperson Ryan Enriquez placed a huge billboard in Pasig City carrying a large picture of himself, side-by-side with a COVID-19 public service announcement by the commission.

In late August, the Commission on Audit called out the NYC for overspending on Filipiniana costumes of its employee participants for a cultural exchange program and expensive spending on food, venue and accommodations during the program's pre-departure training.

In the same month, Ronald Cardema was once again appointed as Commissioner after being rejected as a nominee of the winning Duterte Youth partylist group in the House of Representatives. It is noteworthy that Mr. Cardema resigned from his previous position as NYC Chairperson to pursue a House seat.

The apparent lack of accountability, delicadeza, dynamism, innovation and creativity in today’s youth governance has created further distrust among many that the youth can effect change in the future of the country. Instead of promoting transformative methods of leadership, most of the current crop of youth leaders have been eaten alive by the pervasive system of corruption, abusive norms and practices, and non-performance that have characterized present and past officials. They kowtow to the powers-that-be, never mind critical thinking and ethical standards for political preservation.

Worse, current trends and practices discourage intelligent and accomplished youth leaders to join government as corruptible and negligent ones are appointed to key positions due to their connections and political clout. Many stellar young leaders of our time opted to ply their trade in the private sector where performance is handsomely rewarded. This trend does not mean that many talented young leaders today are not interested to work for government and our people. They just don't want to be a victim or a party to the current system which is rotten to its core.

There are many talented, skilled and intelligent young leaders who are doing public service through civic work in non-government organizations. These leaders are best suited to be NYC appointees with their experiences on the ground, research and development background, and social skills brought about by their interactions with different youth groups and sub-sectors.

It is but high time for appointing powers to realize the value of training and developing young leaders for future leadership roles in government. Training means to train their minds, not their pockets. Developing means to develop skills and abilities, not lazy habits and bad practices.

The NYC today does not inspire young people to serve the country and carry out their civic duties responsibly. In this time of pandemic, inspiring leadership is needed to entice responsible action in the fight against COVID-19.

A public official's face on a billboard does not inspire. Performance behind the cameras and without much fanfare does. People will notice not only with their eyes, but more so with their hearts.

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About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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