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Commentary: Young leaders

Dagupan City (22 June) -- Starting today until Friday, the city government will be governed by young leaders.

They are actually high school students chosen from the different public and private schools of the city to increase awareness of good governance and active citizenship among the youth.

This project of the city government called "Manlingcor na Kalangweran" has been implemented in the city for several years now to build a critical mass of young leaders in Dagupan who will be trained as leaders in democratic governance process.

Thus, the young students get to be little mayor and lithe vice mayor for a week. I wonder how these students feel every time they sit at the mayor's chair and being addressed as such.

During my high school days, there was no program like this yet. We only experienced on-the-job trainings way back in college. And this is more than just an OJT. The fact that they themselves act as the local government unit head is something of a big deal.

As we have gathered, ten other students will also act as councilors, two as sectoral representatives and 36 as city department heads.

Good luck to the new set of young bloods. May you make wise use of the opportunity given to you.

Meeanwhile, last Friday, June 19, the city paid homage to the 148th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal. Incidentally, Rizal's birthday is not as popular as the day of his death.

December 30, the day when Rizal was shot at Bagumbayan, is what is marked as Rizal Day. That day is a national holiday.

Except perhaps for students who are taught to memorize the full name, birthday, birth place and other details of Rizal"s life, the rest of the population barely knows his natal day.

My little angel, Jasmyne, has the same birth date as Rizal's. That makes me remember that date as a personal holiday. (VHS/PIA-Pangasinan) [top]

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