17 April 2007

The Naga City Youth Officials program

YESTERDAY morning, 45 young men and women, mostly college students, took their oath of office as this year's batch of City Youth Officials (CYOs), a program that dates back to 1989, probably earlier.

What stands out in this batch, which Mayor Robredo even noted in his message, is the gender imbalance in favor of women; by my count, only 9 of the 45 CYOs and one of the 12-person city council, are male. Quite expectedly, the city youth mayor, Nhel Russelle Monroy, is also a woman.

The list also included Rhea Jane Viñas, a marketing management student of Ateneo de Naga University, who was selected as city youth planning and development coordinator. She and her colleagues will serve for the duration of the annual City Youth Month, which Executive Order No. 2006-007 declared to cover the period from April 15-May 15.

Gil de la Torre, acting secretary to the Sangguniang Panlungsod who sat in the panel that interviewed Rhea Jane and the 44 other successful examinees, said the CYOs actually serve for a much longer period: their full term lasts for a year, and their stay at city hall reaches up to 45 days, during which time they receive an allowance equivalent to a city hall casual employee.

During this period, according to the EO, "youth officials will be given the opportunity to handle the operations of the city government except in areas which are policy determining or requiring monetary disbursements."

In a memo issued by Frank Mendoza, city administrator, all department heads and chiefs of offices were directed to ensure that their counterpart city youth official co-signs all official documents issued by their unit.

This program has been fairly successful, particularly in attracting the youth's interest in government. Four of its alumni joined the City Hall and eventually became department heads: David Casper Nathan Sergio, former Urban Poor Affairs Office (UPAO) chief and secretary to the mayor; Florencio Mongoso, Jr., Metro PESO chief, and a TOYM and Dangal ng Bayan awardee; Rolando Campillos, incumbent UPAO chief who took over when Nathan was kicked upstairs; and Joselito del Rosario, Public Safety Office (PSO) chief.

Sergio, in fact, is running for a seat in the City Council, on the strength of his being a former city youth mayor, student leader at the Ateneo, and architect of the award-winning "Kaantabay sa Kauswagan" program.

The selection process goes through two phases: a written exam, the top 45 of which will qualify for an interview with the designated City Youth Committee. This year, the committee was chaired by Allen Reondanga, the SK representative to the city council. Ranking is determined by combining scores in the exam and interview phases. The highest ranking applicants take the counterpart of the city's elected officials, down to the department heads, office chiefs and four officials of the Naga City People's Council.

This underrated, long-running program is perhaps one of the reasons why the Naga City Hall still attracts the more public service oriented young people from among the youth.

3 comments:

senenebio said...

ruel barrios (mayor's office?) and nonoy reforsado (metro peso) were also "city youth officials program" graduates...

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Hi Nen: Thanks for the heads-up. Ruel is now Mon Florendo's deputy at the Bicol Science and Technology Centrum.

Anonymous said...

good luck sa bagong CYO kan naga,
mas paurugon nindo ang pagtabang kisa sa personal na bagy,
pakarayon ang nakakaputan na departamento maski sa halipot na oras na matukaw kamo jan dakol kamo magiginibuha,
dae na nindo pag arogon si mga sala kan nakaagi, kundi mas pamarayon pa nindo ang pagserbisyo,
serbisyong pang makatao bakong pangsadiri.
godspeed!!!

Goodluck man sa SKF kang naga.

-JAR