The office of Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian spearheaded the first ever Youth Summit in the city.
On Sept. 24, more than 1,300 students from the 40 public and private high schools, colleges and universities in the city joined in the aforementioned summit held at the Valenzuela City Astrodome from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Bullying, the K to 12 program, and human trafficking were the issues discussed at the summit. Attorney Arni Topico, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Bulacan shared that the best way to stop bullying is to stand up for yourself and to say no.
Meanwhile, Gatchalian, known for his advocacy in education, talked about the readiness of the city from K to 12. He also mentioned the “Free Higher Education Act” that he has been pushing in the House, in which a tuition-free education in all state universities and colleges (SUCs) will be implemented if the bill is enacted into law.
Preventing addiction on drugs became the center of the discussion of District 1 Councilor Tony Espiritu, lead convenor of City Coalition of Anti-Drugs Advocates (CiCADA).
Before concluding the program, Veronica Santiago of the Visayan Forum discussed human trafficking. In Valenzuela alone, 62 victims were rescued from 2011 to the first quarter of 2015. More than half of these victims are minors aged 13 to 18.
Santiago reiterated that the youth are more susceptible to human trafficking because they are innocent.
Photos: Youth Summit in Valenzuela City
In line with this, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was inked between Gatchalian and the Visayan Forum making Gatchalian one of its iFight ambassadors. (Camille Nepomuceno)