CEBU CITY (October 17, 2022) — Fresh from an international gathering of youths in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Labangon Sangguniang Kabataan Chairperson Jhansien Malapit is bringing his learning there by organizing a “Youth Parliament” in his barangay.

“Ganahan ko sa nahitabo didto, nga naay representation ang lainlain nga countries unya ang among voice (as youths) dad-on ngadto sa ibabaw,” he said of the four-day “Asia Youth International Model United Nations”.

Jhansien Malapit. (Contributed photo)

Of the 278 delegates from 32 countries who joined the conference last September 30 to October 3, he was the sole representative of the country coming from the Visayas.

 Themed “Cooperating and Collaboration in Pursuing World Peace”, the gathering saw the youth reporting about various issue that beset the countries of the world.

It was organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); International Global Network (IGN); United National International Children’s Emergency Fund; and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Malapit said that before the conference, he was assigned the country of Maldives to research and report on its major problems. He reported during the plenary session about widespread discrimination, especially against women and immigrants, in that country.

Jhansien Malapit joins other youth representatives from different countries around the globe in the international conference, where he reported about Maldives. (Contributed photo)

“Silay naghatag sa country that I have to represent and I had to research to know more about sa ila. Nice siya nga idea to have the youth gather and tackle each problem,” he said.

What impressed him more, though, was the idea of gathering the youth and getting their feedback in a parliamentary setting, with the IGN acting as secretariat during the conference and collating what they raised for a report with UNESCO.

“Akong nahunahunaan Labangon Youth Parliament, unya naay resolution after nga i-bring up sa SK sa (barangay) council,” Malapit said.

Akong nahunahunaan Labangon Youth Parliament, unya naay resolution after nga i-bring up sa SK sa (barangay) council.

Jhansien Malapit, Labangon Sangguniang Kabataan Chairperson

He said they, the SK officials, would identify youth sitio representatives who will be part of the Youth Parliament.

These representatives would be the ones to raise the concerns in their respective sitios during their plenary session, and the SK would collate them into a report for presentation with the barangay council.

Told that this also coincides with the “bottom-up approach” of the administration of Mayor Mike Rama and Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin N. Garcia, he said that based on his experience in Malaysia, this approach works.

The Philippine delegation to the “Asia Youth International Model United Nations” held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Contributed photo)

“Kay ang among (youth) voice didto ilaha (IGN) mang dad-on sa taas para mapaminaw,” he said.

During the conference, Malapit declared to his fellow youth at the conclusion of his report about Maldives that “we are never too young to change the world”.

Indeed. The world is their oyster, after all, and listening to the voice of all other youths is one way of doing it. #