City officials recently adopted the Youth Welfare and Empowerment Code to help in advancing the overall development of the city’s youth sector.
Ordinance No. 53, series of 2023 declared that as part of the local government’s commitment to youth empowerment and development, the youth sector must be provided with enabling mechanisms and support systems to create more opportunities to enhance and prioritize their general welfare.
Further, it is the mandate of the local government, through all of its offices, and partners, particularly the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation (SKF) and the City Youth Development Office (CYDO), to reach out to the youth and to encourage them to actively participate and be involved in the crafting of policies and monitoring of projects for youth empowerment.
The ordinance stated that in accordance with the United Nations Strategy for the Youth 2030, the city recognizes the indispensable role of the youth in promoting youth welfare rights and putting emphasis to the participation of the youth in community and government functions.
Baguio City, as a diversity hub, values the ability of the youth as the new leaders of today and future shapers for the city’s best interest.
The city government shall ensure that the youth will benefit from the different initiatives of various community partners that prioritize opportunity expansion, skills and capacity enhancement, promotion of youth advocacies and restructuring community norms receptive to the changing needs and priorities of the current times.
Moreover, every youth in the city shall enjoy various rights and observe the different obligations regardless of their age, gender orientation, socio-economic status, culture or indigenous background, religion, political ideology and other relevant factors and that the exercise of said rights shall always be subject to existing laws, government issuances, agreements, local ordinances and other policies.
Among the fields in which the youth have specific rights include health, education, economic empowerment, social inclusion and equity, peace-building and security, governance, active citizenship, environment and sports development.
Under the approved ordinance, all youth organizations and youth-serving organizations with a minimum number of 10 members, in good standing and which are operating in the city shall register with the City Youth Development Office.
A comprehensive plan for the youth formulated by the City Youth Development Council in consultation with the Sangguniang Kabataan, youth groups, other government agencies, private sector, and non-government organizations, Incorporate in the said plan are the formulation, approval and implementation of the local youth development plan for the youth of the city for a period of 3 years and shall be reviewed and formulated a year before the end of its duration and programs and interventions on youth participation in culture and the arts; leadership programs, youth engagement and productive employment, education, livelihood services, cultural exchange, benchmarking and gender development by laying down the necessary mechanisms and frameworks for policy direction, innovation and convergence among others.
The ordinance claimed that all financial requirements in the effective implementation of the measure shall be subject to availability of funds.