The Commission on Election (COMELEC) – Dalaguete, in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Dalaguete hosted the very first “Dalaguete Youth Symposium 2018” last May 9 at the Dalaguete Sports and Cultural Complex (for the coastal and midland area) and May 10, 2018 at the Mantalongon, Covered Court (for the upland area). The activity wanted to express the concerted aspiration of the LGU and COMELEC to push forward the realization of peace, stability, development and unity not just for the youth but to every individual in different sectors. The aim of the symposium is to give chance to the aspiring Sangguniang Kabataan Chairman Candidates to lay down and voice out their platforms and concerns to the Barangay they aimed to serve. Ma’am Vivian S. Canillo welcomed everyone in the  event. Following the spirit of clean, concise and peaceful election, the SK Chairman Candidates discussed their platforms to the crowd. The organizers invited adept panelist to screen and ask the candidates. These panelist includes, Mr. Junel T. Egos, Administrative Assistant II from Bulasa National High School and a former SK Chairman and Barangay Captain at Bug-ot, Argao, Cebu. Mr. Brylle R. Ybanez, an elementary school teacher also a former SK counsilor at Argao, a local traveler and a supportive Duterte mover. Another is Mr. Anthony S. Teo Officer In-charge at the University of the Visayas and a multi-hyphened graduate from the University of the Philippines- Cebu campus.  The assigned head of the panelist is Ms. Grace Chua Magalzo- Bualat, MPoSc., Ll.B. Department Chair of the Political Science Department from the University of San Carlos Down Town Campus.

The symposium goes with the theme “Grasp the opportunity to serve, strengthen the collaboration between the youth and push forward the overall development of Dalaguete”. Mr. Rydal B. Cisneros, the municipal administrator himself, gave the inspirational message by tracing the history of politics and governance in the SK election. The presentation of the candidates was done by the energetic, Storm Gelaga following the list given by the COMELEC. The SK candidates were very articulate in their speeches, battling one question to the next given by the panelist. Some candidates were scared and even puzzled about the difference between platforms to activities. However, Ms. Grace, the epitome of intelligence and grace, were able to discuss the differences between a sound platform to activities. She stated that a platform is a plan to address the need of a certain place (particularly the barangay) which you aim to serve while activities are those that will address and support to achieve the platform. She even added that it is important for the activities to be in line with the platform. It should not just be a plain activity but something that is essential to the community. It is important for every candidate to have a long-termed plan for it is beneficial to the sense of what public service is all about.

Furthermore, there were 25 out of 37 SK chairman candidates out from the coastal and mid-land area of Dalaguete who gave direct emphasis in solving the common problems in their barangay like addressing out-of-school youth and service. The Poblacion SK chairman candidates were given much questions on how to eventually lead a big and central barangay amongst all other barangays in the coastal and mid-land area. The two SK candidates were able to answer questions base on their platforms such as addressing activities for the youth and young professionals, unity amongst diverse barangays and sports activities to divert the proliferation of illegal drugs. The panellists were also very particular on politics and governance. Sir Junel shared that in order for them to be functional in their chosen field which is serving the community, one must give up something to be really good at it. He asked if they were all willing to sacrifice something for service. The SK candidates were caught off-guard but then still gave a positive response to manage their time properly. The activity gauges the candidates to think about their huge decision of being a politician. In conclusion for the day’s event, Sir Brylle asked each candidates, “Why should you win? And what is your edge among other SK candidates?” The SK chairman candidates were able to answer these questions of trying to be the catalysts that yields a positive response, always.

On the second day of the league, there were 33 SK candidates out of 35 who attended the event and were brave enough to stand and give out the change they wanted to bring in the upland barangays of Dalaguete. However, was a joint activity with the covenant signing of all the official candidates in the upland area. The first part of the program was the signing headed by Ma’am Vivian S. Canillo, the election officer of COMELEC Dalaguete and PSI Rolan Aliser from the PNP. Sir Aliser was brave enough to point out the need to be vigilant during and after the election which was followed right away to the signing of the peace covenant.

The panelists admired their valiant answers of how in little ways, they wanted to alleviate poverty in their barangays and of how they will be a good example to the youth. Mr. Kurt Buenconsejo, former SK Chairman of barangay Poblacion in 2007-2012 gave the impression part. He talked about his service and what he has given up to alleviate the condition of the youth during his term. He shared that real public service is letting go of your own true self to be of service to other people. In conclusion, he challenged everyone to keep the fire of service burning amidst diversity, conflict and issues. It ended with the municipal administrator, Sir Rydal giving the panelist certificates of appreciation for the valuable time they have shared in this activity.

The candidates are just a mere reflection of how the barangays of Dalaguete molded them on how to be of help to the community. It is liberating to say at this point that almost half of the Dalaguetnon voters has been educated when it comes to the choosing of leaders and future leaders to serve. We could only hope for the best! Good luck candidates!