Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Philippines - Philippines to push for education, HIV awareness in ASEAN youth meet
National Youth Commission chair Aiza Seguerra will represent the Philippines at the meet. File photo
The Philippines will push for regional cooperation on education and on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during the meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders and youth representatives in Laos.
National Youth Commission chairperson and singer Aiza Seguerra will represent the country during the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with representatives of the regional bloc’s youth at the Lao capital of Vientiane later Monday.
“There is a strong need (to encourage participation) in education, health issues, mental health and HIV,” Seguerra told Laos-bound reporters at the Suvarnabhumi Airport Sunday night.
“The main thrust is education,” Seguerra added.
The NYC chair noted that the number of HIV cases in the Philippines is on the rise despite the downward trend in global infections.
A total of 841 new HIV cases were reported in June, the highest ever since 1984, according to the health department. Of the new HIV cases, 104 have developed into full-blown AIDS.
Seguerra said the Philippines would also help in the crafting of an ASEAN youth index, which will serve as a basis for the crafting of a youth development plan.
The initiative will take into account indicators like the Sustainable Development Goals and the Human Development Index.
Like President Rodrigo Duterte, it will be the first time for Seguerra to represent the Philippines in an international conference.
'First time without a guitar'
“(It’s) weird, man. I was packing my stuff yesterday (Sept. 3). This is something different…It will be the first time I will travel without a guitar,” Seguerra said. “All my life, I’ve been a performer and now it’s like a new job and the first time…I’ll just get used to this. It's like singing the first song in a concert.”
The ASEAN leaders’ interface with the youth is one of the events of the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits to be held in Laos from Sept. 6 to 8.
Seguerra said the NYC would also be pushing for the adoption of a Philippine youth development plan, which aims to empower young Filipinos to make them productive citizens.
The NYC has already crafted such plan but previous administrations had failed to adopt it, Seguerra said.