Around 600 youths underwent an orientation conducted by the 25th Infantry Battalion and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at the Monkayo town gymnasium in Compostela Valley.
The information awareness activity tackled issues affecting the youth, their role as youth in preventing violence, and how they can make a positive impact on their community.
2Lt Kimberly Lappao, the Civil Military Operations officer of the 25th IB, said youth development activity is a program of the DSWD and Department of Education.
The program is conducted every quarter for high school pantawid beneficiaries aging 14 to 18 years old. It aims to support the youth’s holistic adolescent development.
The whole day activity was led by Mila Achumbre, social worker of DSWD- Monkayo.
In her discussion, Lappao stressed the importance of awareness on the pressing social issues concerning the youth, as well as their vulnerability to political violence and armed conflict.
Lt. Col. Oscar Balignasay, the 25th IB commander, said, “You have the biggest number, you have the energy, positivity, curiosity and idealistic traits.
Thus, you are the most vulnerable sector of the society.”
He said the youth is a prime target for recruitment and exploitation by the CPP-NPA.
“Joining such a radical group is like destroying yourself, your family and the community you belong,” Balignasay added.