The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “MATAPAT” Battalion (53IB) in partnership with the Provincial Government and the 1st Congressional District of Zamboanga del Sur launched the Youth Leadership Summit (YLSZDS) 2021 with the theme: “Empower the Digital Youth: Cultivate Servant-Leadership and Signature Strengths Toward a Peaceful and Progressive Zamboanga del Sur” in opening ceremonies and lectures at 1st Infantry “TABAK” Division (1ID) Headquarters, Kuta Major Cesar L Sang-an, Upper Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur on April 12, 2021.
YLSZDS 2021 aims to espouse good citizenship and enhance leadership strengths among the youth in Zamboanga del Sur while ensuring an intact sense of identity and wellbeing amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It has scheduled 34 batches of 2-day lecture sessions for more than 6,000 participants from the different municipalities of Zamboanga del Sur. The kick-off of the lecture series for the 1st batch was attended by at least 166 participants.
“The YLSZDS 2021 activities promote leadership and peace advocacy among the youth. We encourage young people in Zamboanga del Sur to support the government’s programs for their benefits and become instruments of positive change in society for peace and progress,” 1st District Representative and House Deputy Speaker Congresswoman Divina Grace Yu said.
The 1st-day lecture session started with a presentation of YLS History by the YLS Facilitator Tadduey Hupa. After the presentation, the participants undertook team-building activities to showcase artistic talents and creativity in guidon, poster, banner, and cheerleading contest.
53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera lectured about “The Role of the Youth as a Catalyst for Peace” followed by Uztadz Ali Acoy Hashim with a lecture about “Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.” President of Zamboanga del Sur Youth Movement Jeyzel Victoria Yu lectured about “The Role of Youth in Nation Building.”
The 1st day activities were concluded with a “Light for Peace” activity where 1st Division Training School Executive Officer Maj. Rhuderick Yan Pani-agua gave a blessed brown scapular to each participant.
The YLSDS 2021 activities are spearheaded by 1ID Assistant Division Commander Brig. Gen. Bagnus Gaerlan Jr., Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera, 53IB Logistics Officer 1Lt. Jerick Christian Papa together with the 1st Civil-Military Operations “MAHIGALAON” Battalion, 1st Field Artillery “BEAT ‘EM” Battalion, and 1st Cavalry “TAGAPANGUNA” Battalion.
“The YLSZDS 2021 highlights the role of youth in today’s modern world as movers and advocates for a progressive society. in order to become successful leaders in the future, that youth must start now in developing themselves and cultivating the values of a good leader. The youth should look forward in leading their communities toward peace and progress,” Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera said.
“I would like to call on the youth for united action. the youth should be united to work for peaceful communities by avoiding the influence of communist terrorists. The youth should advocate peace by cooperating with the government that is genuinely serving the people for peace and development,” Lt. Col. Herrera said.