Former Negros Occidental governor Rafael Coscolluela challenged youth leaders to engage with government in order to effect reforms during the training conducted by the Young People’s Council and Paghimud-os Negros at the Provincial Capitol’s Social Hall in Bacolod City, Saturday, October 1.
“We all want a nation of Filipinos, not a country of different tribes quarreling among ourselves. So we want to be part of the change but we want to drive that change towards the right direction,” Coscolluela said.
Coscolluela, who is also the co-convenor of Paghimud-os Negros, said that his generation has failed to make the country a better place that has led him to continue advocating for reforms in government through the youth sector.
“Our generation allowed for an environment that would lead to that. Now it is time for your generation to say ‘wait a minute, enough is enough, this is the time to change’. But, of course, the bigger challenge is how,” Coscolluela said.
The former governor also identified education, governance and environment as the top three concerns that must be addressed by the present administration.
The activity, organized by Young People’s Council and Paghimud-os Negros, was attended by 50 youth leaders from different local government units and universities in Negros Occidental, including Himamaylan Vice Mayor Justin Silos Gatuslao, Victorias City Councilor Derek Palanca and Ilog Councilor BG Gequillana.
The participants were given several workshops to empower them to identify specific issues of concern and how to address these issues by organizing civil society organizations in their respective communities.
During the afternoon session, the participants were given the opportunity to ask questions on good governance and active citizenship through a panel interview with Vice Mayor Gatuslao, Dr. Richelle Mangga – Sowing Legacy Movement Inc. chairperson, lawyer Thel Geollegue – SK Chairperson, Brgy. Robles, La Castellana and Colleen Awit – Advocacy and Meal Manager of Negrosanon Young Leaders, Inc.*