DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s Speech for Isang Lahi IYC 2017

Delivered by Undersecretary Bernard Olalia

“My warmest greetings of peace and solidarity to everyone! My congratulations to the organizers of this event, the Rotaract Club of Fort Bonifacio Global City, the Chosen Youth for Change Organization and the Sigaw ng Kabataan Coalition. It is indeed heartwarming to see and be greeted by young people with greatest smiles. I am privileged to be part of this special activity as we are all united today in celebrating our rich and diverse culture as well as our success in empowering youth participation in achieving national development. Having me to be a part of this intercultural youth convention is truly a rare opportunity as I got to meet and talk to youth leaders from different parts of the country. This undertaking underscores unity in cultural diversity and attainment of peace through better youth engagement. The theme that you have chosen is timely, particularly noting our government’s thrust in attaining lasting peace. Misunderstanding due to cultural diversity has always been a hindrance towards the achievement of our development goals. Therefore, congregations such as this play an important role in unifying the youth through aligning our campaigns and efforts for better understanding. Through this intercultural activity, the youth will be given the opportunity to work together peacefully. I wish to assure you that I share the thought that we should guarantee the participation of our young people in policy-making. Being the majority in our society, your participation should be enhanced. This will make policies more comprehensive, relevant and thus, effective.

Another factor is ensuring that we work together peacefully by totally doing away with all forms of discrimination. We have been made aware that a number of ethnic minorities are subjected to various offensive discriminatory acts. Discrimination perpetuates misunderstanding and conflicts among our people. Misunderstanding aggravates the complex issues of poverty, lack of education, drugs, child abuse, forced labor, and unemployment. We at DOLE have been responsive to the growing needs and concerns of the youth. We continue to work hard to provide technical skills training and employment opportunities to our young people and make them a major player of the game of success, making them the assets of Philippine workforce. For ten months into this administration, I can proudly say that the labor department has steadily boosted its campaign in addressing the problem of unemployment and underemployment in our country. Through our youth empowerment programs, such as the Special Program for Employment of Students(SPES), Government Internship Program (GIP), and the jobstart Philippines Program, DOLE has been championing its mandate to provide full-cycle employment facilitation service in assisting young job seekers, from planning their career paths and all the way through acquiring the best-fit jobs for them. For instance, a total of 67, 386 poor but deserving students, out-of-school youth, and dependents of displaced workers were given opportunity to continue their education thropugh the SPES and a total of 12, 018 Filipino college graduates were provided with internship experience in the government through the GIP. Together with our partner agencies, we will continue to provide skills and technical trainings to transform our youth into dynamic innovators and leaders in the present-day world of work. As part of DOLE’s contribution to the administration’s agenda of sustainable growth through massive job generation and substantial poverty reduction, we will also continue to provide alternative means of earning income to support the families of our tribesmen, who are mostly farmers. Through our integrated livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), we provide livelihood assistance, emergency employment, as well as social security enrollment for workers in the informal sector. After all, DOLE is more fueled to provide opportunities to the youth and |I am grateful to the youth organization for the encouragement among young Filipinos to engage themselves in achieving national development.I am certain that Sigaw ng Kabataan Coalition, the Rotaract Club of Fort Bonifacio Global City, and Chosen Youth for Change Organization will continue to guide and lead the young generation of Filipinos in preserving our diverse cultural practices and in becoming a better part of our society.
Again, allow me to congratulate the wonderful partnership of Sigaw ng Kabataan Coalition, the Rotaract Club of Fort Bonifacio Global City, District 3830, and Chosen Youth for Change Organization for a job well done and for the success of this Intercultural Youth Convention. Your mission is noble, particularly the commitment to empower the youth through education and employment.”