The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) in partnership with the Zamboanga del Sur (ZDS) Provincial Government, 1st Congressional District ZDS, 1st Civil-Military “Mahigalaon” Battalion (1CMO), 1st Field Artillery “Beat ‘Em” Battalion (1FAB), and 1st Cavalry “Tagapanguna” Battalion (1CAV), and 1st Division Training School (1DTS) held the Third Batch of Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) ZDS 2021 at 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division (1ID) Headquarters, Kuta Maj. Cesar Sang-an, Labangan, ZDS on April 19-21, 2021.

1st District ZDS Representative and House Deputy Speaker Cong. Divina Grace Yu was the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the opening program on April 19 and closing program on April 17.1ID Assistant Division Chief for Reservist and Retirees Affairs Col. Jose Randolf Sino Cruz, 1ID Assistant Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations (G7) Lt. Col. Don Templonuevo, and 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera also delivered their messages.

“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,” Cong. Divina Grace Yu said.

On Day 1 Plenary, at least 155 participants attended with the following lectures:

– The Role of the Youth as Catalyst for Peace by 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera

– Digital Youth by 53IB Information Support Affairs NCO Pfc. Marchsteven Guigue

– The Role of Youth in Nation Building by ZDS Youth Movement President Jeyzel Victoria Yu

– Communist NPA Terrorist Infltration to the Youth Sector by SSg. Frederick Pagaduan- Psychology of Manipulation together with the Friends Rescued Suray Dadad, Baby Angel Tumiclas, and Elleoterio Pardilla.

The YLS participants showcased their talents, artistry, and creativity on Guidon, poster, banner, and cheerleading contest.The 1st day activities were concluded with a “Light for Peace” activity where 1DTS Executive Officer Maj. Rhuderick Yan Pani-agua gave a blessed brown scapular to each participant.

On Day 2 Plenary, the following lectures were conducted:

– Servant Leadership by 53IB CMO Officer 1Lt. Jerick Christian Papa together with Provincial Youth Leadership Summit Facilitators, 1CAV, 1FAB, and 1CMO Operation NCO SSg. Rey Gontiñias

– Drug Addiction, Awareness and Prevention (RA 9165: Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) by ZDS Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Assistant Provincial Officer Ingrid E Radaza

– Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence and Exploitation by PSms. Rosel Manliques Maglinte

-Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) by 53IB Executive Officer Capt. Bahnarin Camsa

– Mental Health and Well Being by Good Life Academy President Psychotherapist-Life Coach Dr. Moibe Olitres, RGC

– Teenage Pregnancy and HIV/AIDS/COVID Awareness by Licensed HIV Counselor Nemia Flores Algar

– HIV/AIDS Awareness by Aines Catherine Evangelists of Pamet, Pagadian CityAfter the lectures, YLS facilitators conducted Zumba/Taebo, Amazing Race and Shower for Peace to the participants. Day 2 ended with a Socialization Cultural/Solidarity Night for 155 participants.

On Day3, the participant undertook Towering and Obstacle Course activities at 1DTS. During the closing program, Certificate of Recognition were given to each participant.

The Closing Program’s Guest of Honor and Speaker was Region IX Development Council Council and Zamboanga del Sur Governor Victor Yu. The closing program was also attended by 1ID Assistant Division Commander BGen. Bagnus Gaerlan Jr. and 1CMOBn Commanding Officer Lt. Col John Andrada.

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