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Solving the Millennial Puzzle

January 7,2016

Fifteen years ago, 189 world leaders gathered to commit their countries to combat poverty and strive for holistic development. As a result, the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were formed as a brainchild of the nations who believed that unity is the key for global progress, and that was the point this year’s National Youth Congress (NYC) held at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman last November 14-15 gravitated upon. Hosted by the UP Society of Economics, 38 schools from all over the Philippines gathered to discuss key issues regarding the current state of the Philippine economy with regard to the MDGs. 

The opening talk was held by Mr. Ola Almgren, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, who tackled the country’s transition towards the Sustainable Development Goals which will be the focus for the next 15 years.

Participants then broke off into various groups to partake in either the Delegates’ Mixer and Team Building or contests such as the Model Congress and Quiz Bee. The Mixer was held throughout the university campus as the delegates were given an opportunity to tour around and bond with their teammates. Meanwhile, contestants of the Model Congress presented their proposed policies which were supposedly designed as probable solutions for the problems associated with their assigned regions; the Quiz Bee tested the students’ knowledge on Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, the MDGs, and current events. 

On the second day, forums were held by Ms. Marian Valera, Mr. Aniceto Orbeta Jr., Sec. Ramon Paje, Mr. Dennis Quilala, Mr. Arjay Mercado, and Ms. Solita “Winnie” Monsod which concentrated on various MDGs and the country’s efforts to achieve them.

In the afternoon, Sparkonomics, a campaign competition to promote youth involvement and awareness in the attainment of the MDGs, was held to bring the delegates from different backgrounds together to craft plans which showed how the best ideas can spring from fresh minds. Guided by NGOs such as Children’s Hour, Amnesty International, U! Happy Events, Children International, Habitat for Humanity, and the World Wildlife Fund, each team made feasible campaigns that if implemented, will bring the Philippines a step closer to the achievement of the goals.

NYC has been an avenue for young people to express their ideas and take a stand towards the welfare of the state. By giving students the voice to speak out, those who play deaf may finally heed the calls for progress and change. After all, there is a reason why they say that the youth are the hope of our nation. While the time may not yet be right for these young minds to take the wheel, the generation will never cease fighting for the betterment of the society.

By Lara Beatrice Sunga, 10-Stewardship