by Maria Concepcion Alimagno
August 3 marked the start of Linggo ng Kabataan (LNK) 2018 in the municipality of Los Baños. Themed “Safe Spaces for Youth,” activity was organized by the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of Los Baños and was attended by student representatives from various schools in the municipality.
Now on its 5th year, ten schools sent student representatives to participate in LNK 2018. These schools include Bambang Senior High School, BN Calara National High School, Bayog Senior High School, Lalakay Senior High School, Liceo de Los Baños, Los Baños National High School (LBNHS), LBNHS – Poblacion, Mayondon National High School, Saint Anthony School, and Tuntungin Putho Integrated High School.
LNK 2018 opened a seminar-orientation about the annual Linggo ng Kabataan, as well as discussions on tourism, health issues involving the teens, and safety of the youth in Los Baños. The participants were also introduced to the representatives of the various offices and units in the municipality.
Student representatives were also elected for the positions of little mayor, 1 Little Vice Mayor, 10 Little Councilors, 22 Little Head Departments, and 14 Little Baranggay Chairmans. This year was the first time that the election of youth representatives was done with official ballots and ballot boxes. This allowed the participants to experience a simulation of the election process and steps in casting their votes. as all of them are yet to participate in one because the event is for students aged 13 to 17 years old. The candidates for positions had to file certificate of candidacies and had the chance to speak in front of the voters.
On August 6 after a flag ceremony, the elected students started observing how their respective counterpart department officials work. The next day August 7, the Little Officials practiced and were mentored by their counterpart officials on their respective unit’s tasks. The student representatives started working on the third day August 8. Some experienced guarding jails, attending council sessions, and even encoding death certificates. It was also the last day of entries for essay, poem, photography, and poster contests.
At the provincial level, the closing ceremonies for LNK 2018 was held last August 10 at the Provincial Capitol in Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Two days after in August 12, Los Baños also held its closing ceremonies. Games were prepared for the participants and the winners for the poetry, essay writing, and photo contests were awarded their respective prizes and certificates. What followed was the exchange of token between the Little Officers and their counterparts.
The winners for LNK 2018 competitions are as follows:
First Place – Marie Antonette Sumander
Second Place – Danniel Bartilet
Third Place – Micaella Kris Anne E. Pangga
Essay Writing Contest
First Place – Micaella Kris Anne E. Pangga
Second Place – Kristalyn Felipe
Third Place – Cristine Joyce Macatabas
First Place – Kayla S. Banasihan
Second Place – Justin Rae P. Belen
Third Place – Seanne Garcia
This year’s LNK 2018 activities gathered positive reviews from the student representatives. According to Jaira Buena of Liceo de Los Baños who elected as Little Municipal Councilor, the event was “successful kasi simula pa lang ng orientation, maganda na. Yung election ay hindi lang basta appointment. Maganda yung pagka-organize.” Buena added that she learned that even the youth can do accomplish things such as drafting policies and laws. The participants learned and had the idea of how municipal departments work together to serve the public.
While this year’s LNK 2018 activities was well received by the participants, Los Baños SK Federation President Jozylyn Manansala explained that it would have helped if the office for Local Youth Development Council (LYDC) in Los Baños has been established so the SK Federation would have had more help in organizing the activities. Manansala did explain that the delay in forming the Local Youth Development Office is shared by several municipalities and cities.
Republic Act No. 10742 or the “Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015” Section 33 states that the LYDC and SK Federation will lead in the observance of Linggo ng Kabataan annually on the week where the 12th of August falls to coincide with the International Youth Day.