By: Roi Lomotan
DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA) — The National Youth Commission (NYC) did its Grassroots Participatory Budget Process (GPBP) consultation here yesterday attended by hundreds of young leaders from different schools in the city and in Negros Oriental.
NYC Chairman Leon Flores said the GPBP is the commission’s way of ensuring a transparent and people-oriented budgeting process for the fiscal year 2015.
“We really want citizen engagement. We want you guys to be involved. We want you guys to know what is the budget of NYC. We want to be transparent and we are accountable to you,” Chairman Flores stressed.
Flores disclosed that for 2015, the estimated budget for NYC is P82 million.
The GPBP in Dumaguete City is the only consultation event they have for the Visayas area.
“Dumaguete really has a very vibrant youth community. There are many youth organizations and student leaders here. We did this because we are going to areas we don’t normally go to be able to reach out and give voice to the youth of Dumaguete City,” Flores said.
Participants in the event were youths from St. Paul University Dumaguete, Silliman University, Negros Oriental State University, New Ground Events, Gaba-an Youth Lead, Gawad Kalinga Negros Oriental, Colegio De Sta. Catalina De Alejandria, other youth organizations and representatives from Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Before the participants were engaged in the budget consultation, Commissioner Erwin Andaya briefed them on the process of government budgeting starting from budget preparation to budget accountability.
Andaya also noted that the GPBP seeks to hear from stakeholders if the budget they have is enough, realistic and if the fund is beneficial to the sector the commission is serving.
Aside from these, NYC Chairman Flores also detailed the commission’s projects and thrusts for this year focused on empowering youth’s involvement in the society and making them employable citizens.
These include the implementation of policies on the Minda 2020 Youth Agenda, Government Internship Program with different government agencies, Youth Leadership platform online, Apprenticeship program with TESDA, Youth participation in disaster risk reduction and management and programs aimed to decline HIV/AIDS cases among young people.
Flores added that right now, the NYC is trying to craft the Youth Development Fund (YDF) which youth organizations can tap to help finance their projects, the commission plans to allocate P1 million as a starting amount for the YDF.
The NYC chairman welcomes inputs from youth leaders on how should they implement the YDF and what programs and projects can the YDF support.
Participants were then divided to different groups to discuss the gaps in the NYC projects as well as programs where the money from the YDF can be used. Participants also expressed their proposals for youth development projects.
As the event came to close, Commissioner Andaya lauded the participants for their active involvement in the GPBP consultation.
“We appreciate your inputs and we will try our best to put them in the budget for 2015,” Andaya said. (mbcn/RAL/PIA7-NEGOR)