A total of 89 Agta youth leaders in San Mariano town in Isabela has completed the three-day Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) organized by the Philippine Army’s 95th Infantry Battalion of the 5th Infantry Division.
A graduation ceremony for the young leaders was held at the Enlisted Personnel Clubhouse (PC) at this camp in Barangay Upi, Gamu town on Sunday afternoon.
Lt. Col. Gladius Calilan, 95th Infantry Battalion commander, said in an interview on Monday that the youth leaders were taught on their roles in society and nation-building through lectures and workshops on leadership, technical and interpersonal skills, as well as through group dynamics and sharing, team-building activities and presentations, with the objective “to make them more responsible, productive and well-informed youth of the society.”
“The training has empowered them to be advocates and conduits of peace and development, make them aware from the propaganda of the communists and avoid being recruited by the CPP-NPA-NDF’s (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) deceptive acts,” Calilan said, adding that camaraderie and teamwork were also developed during the seminar.
Marites Andana, Agta Federation president in San Mariano town, said the youth leaders are valuable human resources who can be tapped for peace and development.
“As youth trainees today, we are hoping to be leaders in the future,” she told the Philippine News Agency.
Andana said the leadership training has also instilled in them the spirit of patriotism, nationalism and social responsibility and expanded their role in nation-building.
Susana Soriano, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)-San Mariano training facilitator, said the youth leaders were chosen to undergo training “because they are being prepared to be nation builders in the future.” (PNA)