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PIA Press Release

Children's governance: A challenge beyond four conrners of school campus

By Fritz V. Evangelio

Butuan City (19 October) -- Agusan del Sur officialdom voluntarily surrendered their posts for a day to youth leaders during a short program right after the Monday flag raising ceremony at the provincial capitol ground, as mandated in Provincial Ordinance No. 16, series of 2002, otherwise known as the Children's Code of Agusan del Sur.

Section 46 of the children's code states that under close supervision by those in government position, the children in the province of Agusan del Sur shall reign the governance/administration of the entire bureaucracy, including elective positions, except in hospitals, from the barangay up to provincial level, and whose official actions shall be binding and enforceable within the law.

The local councils for the welfare of children in each LGU shall recommend to the Local Sanggunian the names of children who shall be occupying all the position in the bureaucracy. On this day, governing/administering children shall be compensated according to the position/s they are holding comensurate to one (1) day equivalent to be taken from the regular salary of the holder of such position being taken over.

Side by side after the turn over, young governor Jelcid Fernando Ebarle from Bayugan City walked with Gov. Maria Valentina "Tina" Plaza to the second floor where the office of the governor is located, each wearing smiles in their faces as a sign of sweet surrender of her post on the side of Gov. Tina, and a sign of willingness on the side of young Gov. Ebarle.

Two days before the taking over, youth leaders convene on a youth congress at the Provincial Training Center and discuss issues and problems that confront children and women all over the province based on the four major rights of a child as defined in the Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination and Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). A rigid workshop was done whose output will support the existing laws that protect the children and women and will be jointly financed by the provincial and municipal federation of the Sangguniang Kabataan and the provincial and municipal governments.

To prepare the youth legislatures before they take over the legislative chambers, Vice Governor Santiago "Santi" Cane himself briefed the children on the rules and procedures in the conduct of meetings and sessions in order that they can pass local laws which will become part of the laws of Agusan del Sur, parallel to the law of the Republic.

Among those elected yesterday that took over the governance of Agusan del Sur today, October 19 were, Governor: Jelcid Fernando Ebarle of Bayugan; Vice Governor: Phybglyzl Chavez of San Luis; District I Sangguniang Panlalawigan members Melch Marion Demegillo; Yvonne Kaye Perocillo, Leean Espino, Fatima Alaan and Jovelyn Luna. For Sangguniang Panlalawigan members District II: Sheila Mae Magadan; Hannah Jane Daday; Arnold Improso; Kris Angeli Sanchez and Carmela Bahalla. The Youth Provincial PCL President was Sweet Dawn Chavez while Kenny Jean Balagon took over the post of Hon. Edwin Elorde as Liga ng mga Barangay President. All the chiefs of offices were also unseated in favor of the young chiefs of offices for a day, including the prosecutor's office and the office of the Philippine Information Agency as requested by Vice Governor Santi Cane.

"Every October since I became governor of Agusan del Sur, I sweetly surrender my office to the young governor as mandated in Ordinance No. 16, not only as compliance, but to share the responsibility that a governor carries on her shoulder for the welfare and well being of her constituents, because I believe these young leaders are not just future leaders of the province, but they will become forces that will carry Agusan del Sur to prosperity", Gov. Tina Plaza said. (With Dave M. Suyao/PIA Agusan del Sur) [top]

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