The Development Communicators’ Society (DeCSo) President Aveguel Sinangote and the DeCSo Vice-President and Chairperson of the Padre Burgos Youth Advocate Elias V. Villariasa Jr., both junior Development Communication students of Visayas State University (VSU), represented their respected organization in the National Sectoral Assembly held last December 1-3 at the Manila Hotel and St. Giles Hotel Makati, City.

Anchored on the theme “Makabuluhang partisipasyon ng nagkakaisang batayang sector para sa maunlad na bagong Pilipinas," over 1,300 organizations from 14 various basic sectors convened for the three-day all-expense-paid national sectoral assemblies organized by the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) that aimed to allow the sectors to draft the agenda and select sectoral officers and representatives.

With over 1,300 organizations, Sinangote and Villariasa joined the 83 youth-led and campus-based groups and represented and raised their respective banners in the National Youth and Sectoral Assembly (NYSSA) 2023, one of the 14 sectoral breakout sessions on the 2nd and 3rd days of the event, to talk about their priority sectoral agenda and elect the next set of council members and representatives.

Sinangote, who also participated in the NAPC’s Regional Sectoral Assembly last September 2023 in their agenda under student rights and welfare, expressed the importance of campus journalism and stressed the challenges faced by campus journalists.

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In Sinangote’s proposal, she put forward strengthening and amending the Campus Journalism Act of 1991 to best serve its purpose, protecting campus journalists of different student media organizations, such as the Amaranth, for a much freer and more independent campus press. 

Meanwhile, Villariasa, the chairperson of the Padre Burgos Youth Advocate, an organization that advocates active youth civic engagement, aspires to capacitate the youth in disaster preparedness, especially in disaster-prone areas such as Leyte Island, after seeing how typhoon Odette devastated the province of Southern Leyte for almost two years now since December 16, 2021. 

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Consequently, Villariasa, along with Sinangote, put forward the said agenda as an amendment or specifier; however, it was not written as agreed by the Visayas youth sector.

The agenda crafted by the sector will be carried out by the newly elected youth and sectoral council, along with the member organizations, to contribute to the reduction of poverty in our country in the next three years.

“I am honored to be one of the youth leaders here representing Region 8 and to push the DeCSo advocacy to be a catalyst of change on campus and in the community in any way possible” Sinangote captioned on her Facebook post.

Ultimately, the NYSSA 2023 in the 7th National Sectoral Assembly of NAPC gave youth leaders like Sinangote and Villariasa the platform to voice out their concerns and lobby for their purpose of contributing to the crafting of social reform policies and programs against poverty, being catalysts of change, and champions of social responsibility. 

“Patuloy tayo sa pagsigaw at pagpakalat ng ating adbokasiya na maging ‘Champions of Social Responsibility’ upang sa ganun at mas marami tayong mga kabataan na mabigyan ng boses at mailantad sa mas malawak at kapakipakinabang na plataporma” said Villariasa on his Facebook post. 

Sinangote and Villariasa were among the chosen five youth leaders in Region 8 who took part in the purposeful nationwide convention of the various basic sectors in the country.

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