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5 Zamboanga Peninsula SKs feted for youth empowerment initiatives

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 26 (PIA) – Five Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) in the Zamboanga Peninsula have been awarded for their unique projects, programs, and initiatives that empower the youth.

The Sangguniang Kabataan Awards for Leadership and Administration (SKALA) recognizes the best practices and success stories of youth leaders and are meant to encourage other youth leaders to strive for excellence. 

Among the winners of the SKALA Award were the SK Federation of the municipality of Labangan, which secured the top spot, followed by the SK of Molave in Zamboanga del Sur, the SK of Leon B. Postigo in Zamboanga del Norte, the SK of Kumalarang in Zamboanga del Sur, and the SK of Dinas in Zamboanga del Sur.

The Labangan SK was lauded for its Trash to Treasure program, where the SK gives school supplies, hygiene kits, and sometimes cash to individuals in the community in exchange for recyclables. The council also initiated the creation of the SK Disaster Rangers, which trained youth volunteers on how to become first responders in times of disaster. Their Negosyo Kabataan Program, which helps youth-beneficiaries set up their own sari-sari stores to help with their study expenses and other needs, was also cited as among the best practices that deserve to be emulated.

The Labangan SK was cited for choosing one of the farthest communities in Zamboanga del Sur as the beneficiary of their Adopt a Community Program. Under the program, the SK distributes school supplies, hygiene kits, and medicines to Sitio Glab in Cogonan. The SK also sponsored circumcision for the village’s children. On top of these, a youth study center was also established to assist students with their studies. The center serves as a hub for students who need free internet, printing, encoding, and research.

“Akong advise sa ilaha (kabatan-onan) nga makilahok jud ta sa tanan activity or tanan mga programs sa LGU or SK kay para gihapon na sa improvement and empowerment nila,” Labangan SK Federated President Zarouf Dhen P. Manupac said. (My advice to the youth is to engage in all LGU or SK programs and activities for their progress and empowerment.)

With the upcoming SK election, Manupac said they will draft a recommendation and interim report that they will pass on to the next SK officials.

“Hopefully, mas mulabaw pa ug mas maayu pa ang sunod na SK. Kung unsa ang wala namo nabuhat, tungod ato na report mabuhat unta nila,” Manupac said. (Hopefully, the next SK will be even better. I hope they can achieve what we were not able to, with the help of our report.)

Kumalarang SK Federation President Lorenzo Castro Gomonit shared Manupac’s sentiment. He emphasized that the SK, as one of the helping hands of the government, should assist the youth and especially focus on those who were not able to study due to poverty.  

“I hope ang sunod na youth leaders sa among respective communities ilang tabangan ang ilang kabatan-onan, especially ang mga out-of-school youth, nga maka skwela or matagaan ug trainings sa livelihood, ug sa TESDA, para ma-empower sila (I hope the next youth leaders in our respective communities will help the young people, especially the out-of-school youth, so that they can go to school or receive training for their livelihood, and from TESDA [Technical Education and Skills Development Authority], to empower them),” he said.  

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 9 spearheaded the Sangguniang Kabataan Awards for Leadership and Administration (SKALA) as part of the 32nd Anniversary celebration of Local Government Month.  

DILG-9 Regional Director Paisal Abutasil commended the dedication of leaders and their teams who have committed themselves to nurturing enduring positive transformation, enhancing the well-being of individuals, and generating opportunities for everyone.

“May we draw inspiration from their dedication, their impressive achievements, and their unrelenting endeavors to enhance the well-being of our region as a whole,” he said. (RVC/CCP/PIA9)

About the Author

Clennkei Peñalosa

Information Officer

Region 9

Clennkei C. Peñalosa is a member of the Subanen Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) who earn a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) and is currently pursuing her Juris Doctor degree. A content creator and writer, she writes news and feature stories in Zamboanga Peninsula and manages PIA9's social media platforms.

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