Aiza Seguerra opens meeting of Asean youth representatives
Cariza “Aiza” Seguerra, chairperson of the National Youth Commission (NYC), opened on Thursday the preparatory meeting of youth representatives from member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) at the Sofitel Manila.
In her speech before her fellow youth leaders, Seguerra noted the active participation of the Asean’s youth sector in different areas, including the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV-AIDS).
“The succeeding years saw the active participation of the Asean youth in various endeavors in the areas of volunteerism, entrepreneurship, climate change, people to people exchanges, education, culture, and advocacies on health, notably on HIV-AIDS prevention,” Seguerra said in her speech.
The singer-turned-government official has been pushing for the lowering down the age requirement for HIV testing and the delivery of reproductive health service.
“We all recognize the impact of HIV AIDS and those posed by drug and substance abuse among the vulnerable groups, most specially the youth,” she said. “An intensive advocacy campaign to practice clean living and healthy lifestyle is gaining ground among the young people. The active involvement of the Asean youth in physical activities that promote physical fitness andwell being should be sustained” Seguerra said.
Speaking in a news briefing in Malacañang last February, Seguerra said minors as young as 15 years old should be allowed to undergo HIV testing. At present, people under 18 are required to seek permission from their parents before they could be tested and treated for HIV-AIDS.
On her appointment in August 2016, Seguerra vowed to address issues on spread of HIV, illegal drug use among the youth, and teenage pregnancy.
For the preparatory meeting this year, the Asean youth adopted the theme “Asean Workplan for the Youth: Transcending Regional Boundaries” because Seguerra said “we firmly believe that our essential desire to be involved in major efforts of our respective countries’ leaders matter a lot.”
She also emphasized the importance of social media in connecting with fellow Asean citizens and engaging in innovative entrepreneurial activities.
“The onset of information technology has tremendously provided the best avenue to establish connectivity when it comes to sharing of best practices in entrepreneurship,” Seguerra said.
“The youth has become more engaged in innovative entrepreneurial activities utilizing the social media to connect with fellow ASEAN citizens and the world in general,” she added.
The Philippines is hosting the 30th Asean Summit, which runs from April 26 to April 29. /atm/rga
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