Yesterday, June 22, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III faced the Congress and gave his personal report to his boss regarding the achievements of his administration and what bills would he need in order to continue the march towards progressive reforms and what he argues for “inclusive economic growth.”
The Student Council Alliance of the Philippines acknowledges the vision of the Aquino Administration towards innovative service and transformative politics. This vision enabled the Philippines to march forward in terms of economic growth with a 7.8% increase of the GDP during the first quarter of 2013. Also, the Alliance acknowledges the Aquino Administration’s action towards battling corruption within the bureaucracy and of the other branches of government. We admire his stronger call, within the halls of Batasang Pambansa, for every Filipino to take part with the daang matuwid and engage with the political transformation within the system.
It is disappointing, however, that the Administration did not mention anything about the youth sector and how would they engage them into progressive change as mandated by the 1987 Constitution which acknowledges the role of the youth sector towards nation-building.
Even with this fabric of achievements, there are more things to be done. The Alliance firmly believes that our economic progress should be inclusive, meaning that it will be felt by all sectors of society regardless of economic well-being. We challenge the Aquino Administration to implement progressive policies towards inclusive economic growth.
Another challenge would be the passing of progressive legislative reforms such as the People’s FOI Bill (using indirect initiative), National Land Use Bill, Anti-Discrimination Bill, the Students’ Rights and Welfare Bill and other progressive policies that can empower every sector within the society especially the youth.
This day marks the start of the midterm period of the Aquino Administration. The Alliance affirms its challenge to include the youth within the progressive agenda of the current administration. It is high time for the 16th Congress to also provide an avenue for the youth to participate within the halls of government.
Our government is not just a government of the few, we are within a political system of which every voice is acknowledged and heard towards social progress within the Philippines, therefore this the government of all people. This is what believe is democracy, a system of political engagement towards nation-building of all sectors including the youth.