In the spirit of fairness, I am posting the response of the National Youth Parliament Alumni Association Inc. and a copy of their original letter to the National Youth Commission En Banc.
I am posting this so that all young people will be aware of what is going on. It is always healthy to engage actively in the affairs of the youth.
In an online conversation with NYPAA President Evanesa "Jigs" Pasamba, she said and I quote "I acknowledge the receipt of that letter BUT unfortunately that is NOT the official letter from the Commission as represented by Chairman Leon Flores. That is merely Mr Tingson's interpretation. The fact remains that despite the lengthy letter, it still does not respond to the points we have questioned. Since NYC has provided two differently crafted letters we opted to give weight to the response of Chairman Leon Flores as head of the Commission. We shall answer Mr. Tingson's letter in the proper venue and in the appropriate time. Thank you." Please read the post below for your reference.
ISSUES ON PREVIOUS PARLIAMENTS AND THE NATIONAL YOUTH COMMISSION
The NYPAA recognizes the contributions of former NYC Commissioner at Large Mike Lopez not only among his peers but also for his contributions in the NYC. The writer mentioned Commissioner Mike Lopez blog to justify alleged graft and corrupt practices in the NYC. Some of the positive traits of Commissioner Lopez is his openness, transparency and idealism -- traits, which called for the admiration of the rank and file of the NYC and of his fellow parliamentarians.
It is our interpretation that fellow alumnus Mike Lopez, wrote the blog not to malign his colleagues in the Commission but rather to provide an eye opener to young people who wish to follow his footsteps to enter government. He painted scenarios of reality for young people to appreciate how it is to be one of the youngest political appointees during the PGMA administration. His expose’ if you could call it that may have shaken the leadership of the National Youth Commission and his fellow officials during that time, but have significantly influenced internal reforms in the said agency.
The author also tried to justify this citation of alleged graft and corruption to link it as a common practice within the commission. He went on to mention the graft and corruption case of former SKNF President Jane Cajes – since this is a pending case it is not proper for us to comment on the merits of the case. However, we would like to point out that the SKNF is a separate entity from the NYC. The Commission according to the RA 8044 merely provides secretariat functions to the SK aside from the Ex-Officio position granted to the SKNF President in the Commission En Banc. The alleged corrupt practices in the SKNF cannot be directly linked to the leadership of the NYC at that time.
It is worthy to note that in the span of time that these allegations were selling like hotcakes, the Commission through the leadership of again fellow alumnus former Commissioner for Visayas Benjie Oliva was in the forefront of calling the attention of the SKNF leadership to show accountability and provide transparency in their finances.
According to the blog it claimed that former Commissioner at Large Steve Arquiza, again another alumnus had been instrumental in alleged fixing of the elections during the 8th NYP. These allegations are stemmed on Commissioner’s Arquiza’s position as NOC Chair and alliances with one youth organization apparently dominating the membership of the said batch.
First and foremost, Commissioner Arquiza together with Commissioner Benjie Oliva have been instrumental in paving the way for the NYPAA to build a more concrete partnership with the National Youth Commission. It was Commissioner for Mindanao Hanny Camid who was the original Chairperson of the 8th NYP NOC, Commissioner Arquiza only took over when Commissioner Camid’s term ended abruptly prior to the implementation of the Parliament.
The NYPAA filed a series of complaints against the leadership of Hanny Camid with regard to processes being implemented in the recruitment and selection of delegates to the Parliament. When Commissioner Arquiza took over the applicants have already been selected – therefore he could not have influenced the composition of the 8th NYP as alleged by the writer. His association with the group mentioned is only incidental to the situation.
Commissioners Arquiza and Oliva have been instrumental for the NYPAA to forge ties with the NYC which were elusive to previous alumni administrations due to numerous factors but mainly linked to miscommunication or at most the lack of communication between the NYC and the NYPAA.
We categorically can say that accusations against Commissioner Arquiza provided in the article simply have no basis whatsoever.
It was in the 8th NYP wherein the NYPAA could proudly say that the best of our members played significant roles in the conduct of the said parliament. It is also during this parliament wherein the members of the alumni association and the NYC rank and file worked as a team which contributed to the success of the said activity. If it were not for Commissioners Arquiza and Oliva, the alumni would not have been given the avenue to finally bury the hatchet with the NYC.
ALLEGATIONS THROWN TO THE 9TH NYP-NOC LEADERSHIP
The writer took lengths in providing information on the background of the three (3) officials currently handling the preparations for the 9th NYP. All of whom have never been a delegate to any of the previous parliaments and therefore have not actually experienced the program.
We will not comment on their political affiliations and connections as discussed in the blog since, the links provided in the article are enough to speak for itself.
We however would like to clarify several points:
1. FOR THE RECORD, THE NATIONAL YOUTH PARLIAMENT ALUMNI ASSOCIATION WAS NEVER INVOLVED IN THE PREPARATORY PROCESSES OF TH 9th NYP. WE WERE NEVER INVITED TO SIT DOWN WITH THE MEMBERS OF THE NOC DURING THE PREPARATORY STAGES OF THE PARLIAMENT AS PREVIOUSLY PRACTICED IN PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS.
2. THE ONLY TIME THE NYC INVITED THE NYPAA FOR A MEETING PRIOR TO THE CONDUCT OF THE PARLIAMENT WAS IN THE LAST QUARTER OF 2011. This was held in a coffee shop in Quezon City and was represented by the Alumni’s Chairperson for Trainings and concurrent Head of the NYPAA Academy together with the 8th NYP batch vice president. WE PLACE EMPHASIS THAT THE ONLY AGENDA DISCUSSED BETWEEN THE ALUMNI AND THE NYC WAS WHETHER THE ALUMNI WAS AMENABLE TO MOVE THE 9TH NYP IN ANY OF THE MONTHS BETWEEN MARCH TO MAY.
3. Though there were some opposition to move the implementation of the 9th NYP in any of the months between March to May – since this would cut the term of the 8th batch of the NYP as the current youth advocates and representatives of the NYC – The NYPAA National Board gave way to the wisdom of the current leadership of the NYC implementing the 9th NYP with apprehension to the timeframe of implementation.
It has been the long standing position of the NYPAA National Board from past to present that in the conduct of any of the future batch parliaments emphasis should be on the QUALITY OF DELEGATES to the parliament. NYC should maintain standards set for the criteria of delegates institutionalized since the 1stNational Youth Parliament. NYC should strictly implement the provisions of the law (RA 8044) to ensure that there shall be EQUAL GEOGRAPHICAL REPRESENTATION of delegates to the parliament. Delegates should represent further the FOUR (4) SUB SECTORS OF THE YOUTH namely OUT OF SCHOOL YOUTH (OSY); IN-SCHOOL YOUTH (ISY); WORKING YOUTH AND SPECIFIC YOUTH GROUPS AND INCLUDE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN.
4. Equal geographical representation in previous parliaments reflects that there should be ONE (1) MALE AND ONE (1) FEMALE DELEGATE FOR EVERY PROVINCE/CITY AND MUNICIPALITY IN THE COUNTRY. Ideally members of parliament should be PRESIDENTS OF THEIR ORGANIZATIONS during the conduct of the parliament. If there were cases of multiple organization representation of any organization this was justified by the nature of the organization – mostly organizations with a NATIONAL SCOPE had community based and in-school representations aside from their national president. This is to ensure that there shall be no monopoly of discussion of any issue and a wide variety of perspectives on said issues would transpire.
5. During the campaign period for the 9th NYP, which was implemented roughly on the second week of February 2012 and initially ended on February 29, 2012 which was monitored by the National Board at that time there were roughly 100+ applicants in the initial implementation of the campaign. This posed as a great concern for the NYPAA thus, on its own volition initiated its own campaign to encourage youth leaders to participate in the parliament. The board, created its own speakers bureau and requested its area coordinators to assist the NYC in the promotion of the program to ensure that more young people would submit their application forms before the new deadline set by the Commission on March 15, 2012. As part of the NYPAA initiatives, members contributed to the development of voice ads which was linked to the FB and disseminated to the alumni area coordinators. THE SAME VOICE ADS WERE USED BY THE NYC.
ON THE PARTICIPATION OF THE NYPAA IN THE SELECTON AND SCREENING PROCESS OF THE 9TH NYP:
The NYPAA CATEGORICALLY REFUTES the GMA 7 news article cited which claims that the NYPAA together with Commissioner Gio Tingson CRAFTED the selection and screening guidelines for the 9th NYP.THIS IS TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM!
THE NYPAA HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CRAFTING OF THE 9TH NYP SELECTION GUIDELINES. The Alumni was merely requested for representation.
AGAIN WE EMPHASIZE THAT IT WAS A LAST MINUTE INVITATION PROVIDING THE NYPAA ONLY A DAY OR TWO TO FIND AVAILABLE MEMBERS TO SIT IN THE PANEL.
Members of the NYPAA who screened the papers of the applicants merely implemented the process developed by the 9th NYP- NOC.
WE REITERATE THAT THE NYPAA NEVER PARTICIPATED IN ANY OF THE PREPARATORY MEETINGS OF THE 9TH NYP- NOC.
The number of AKBAYAN and SCAP members (apparently dominating the composition of the delegation) is beyond the control of the NYPAA. In comparison to previous parliaments wherein the NYC conducted regional interviews – this selection did not include any face to face encounters with the applicants. Also, in previous parliaments, the NYC was strict to ensure that the members of the panel belonged to National Government Agencies implementing youth programs in the country. In past parliaments, it was the Regional Advisory Council that recommended the delegates to the parliament. In this year’s selection panel – there seemed the lack of consistency in the representation of other stakeholders in the screening panel with the NYC rank and file and the co-terminus staff of the Commission as members of the screening panel --thus each cluster were dominated by the NYC.
The NYPAA in April 20, 2012 provided Chairman Leon Flores the summary findings of the members of the NYPAA who represented the association in the screening process. We note the following points:
On the Composition:
· It was observed that a significant number of the applicants on the 1st day of the screening process were from the members of the AKBAYAN and their affiliate organizations; though it was also noted that in the succeeding days that a handful came from the Kabataan Liberal and Anwaray
· Some applicants indicated the head of the NOC in the application form as their reference
· In all previous batches the qualification of the delegates of the Parliament are the presidents or the next highest official in their respective organizations, in this batch it has been observed that poor grades were given since most applicants did not have leadership experience because they were only members of their organizations (though some have numerous memberships again, it does not justify nor reflect much of their leadership capabilities)
· Since applicants shall be ranked by grades the tendency to have an average of 5 delegates from one organization would be inevitable
· Much that there were around 500 applicants to the program, quality of applicants were not remarkable as compared to previous parliaments and standards.
On the Documents provided
· There is a need for the NYC to review the application form since many were not able to fill up some sections properly or they did not understand what information was being requested in the form.
· It was noted that a few applicants were not processed because they provided the same essay with another applicant
· Some essays submitted did not appear it was written by the delegates themselves
Process of the selection
· It was expressed by one of the panel that there is a need to have face to face interviews, some essay styles were written arrogantly or aggressively and may not be the true personality of the participant.
· It was also added that interviews were essential in the process in selecting the delegates to the parliament because it can validate the information they have provided in their application, further it can provide at a minimum their appreciation on situations that shall provide an insight on their personality and how they express their views.
We would like to again emphasize that the NYPAA has sent two (2) letters to the NYC requesting for a meeting because of the results of the selection process and to finalize the participation of the members of the alumni in the 9th NYP – up to this time NO MEETING HAS YET TRANSPIRED between the NYC and the NYPAA.
Original Link: Youth Parliament Buzz