Caraga youth leaders prepare for Sangguniang Kabataan elections

Posted on February 26, 2023


Fifty-two (52) youth leaders from Agusan and Surigao provinces participated in a training workshop on the Sangguniang Kabataan(SK) elections, held last February 24 to 25, 2023 in Butuan City. INCITEGov and PPVR-Caraga conducted the two-day workshop to help increase meaningful youth participation in the upcoming SK elections and to promote participatory, transparent, and accountable governance through this political exercise.


The workshop consisted of sessions on democratic governance and leadership, orientation on the roles and functions of SK, the mechanics of SK elections and the various ways by which the youth can meaningfully participate in it. The workshop also dealt with the crucial role of social media in elections. It combined inputs and structured learning exercises that solicited the active participation of the participants. This included role-playing, mock miting de avance presentations, and gamified group activities.



The participants shared that they were inspired and energized by the workshop, especially gaining a greater resolve to participate in the SK elections in various ways, such as volunteering as poll-watchers, educating fellow youth about the importance of SK, and leading or joining advocacies for democratic leadership and good governance.



"I like that we were able to draft our platforms of governance and hold mock miting de avance. I conquered my fear of public speaking!" shared Dios Ark Caņeja of Surigao del Sur.


Erin Mae Amante, a youth leader from Butuan City, said that although the workshop was short and was held for just two days, it was comprehensive and engaging.


"The training gave me a lot of advice which I can surely use, like the value of being proactive and the importance of a political team to help my campaign." Amante added.


Joshua Batac, meanwhile, reflected that the first part on self-discovery gave him the most inspiration.


"I realized my fears and strengths. I am now an SK councilor and I plan to run for SK chairman in this next election armed with this self-knowledge and new insights on leadership," Batac said.


Batac is the regional coordinator of Agusan del Norte Provincial Youth Development Council and Kilos Caraga, a Mindanao youth-led socio-civic organization. Batac is also a PPVR-Caraga volunteer.


The same sentiment was echoed by John Andrie Penados, who said that the workshop was a great avenue for understanding his purpose as youth and member of a new generation. He realized that it is not easy to run for office but the training inspired him to go ahead and pursue plans to run and help his community. Penados is a youth leader from Surigao del Norte.


Alleiah Mae Maravilla of Agusan del Sur, meanwhile, shared that she liked the orientation on elections and activities on campaigning as a whole. She appreciated the deep dive into the scenes behind campaigning - from jingle making, creating slogans, drafting platforms, and even choosing the campaign colors.


"Our campaign team held deliberations as if we're campaigning in real life!" Maravilla enthused.


Overall, the organizers of the training workshop led by Concepcion "Chit" Asis believe that the activity succeeded in enabling the youth leaders to view the SK elections as a platform for raising their generation's consciousness about democratic leadership and transparent and accountable governance. Follow up mentoring and monitoring activities are lined up from March to October to monitor developments and provide a network of support to the youth leaders as they embark to participate in the upcoming SK elections in various ways.