In a bid to further expand the delivery of its services among the youth across the province, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) seeks to rename the Sirib Youth Office (SYO) to Ilocos Norte Youth Office (INYO).
Provincial Information Officer June Arvin C. Gudoy explained in an interview that “INYO will become the overall agency which will cover and oversee the various projects implemented for the Ilocano youth.”
“The Sirib Ilokano Kabataan Association (SIKA) will closely coordinate with INYO together with the [Provincial] Education Department, our partner in pushing programs for the benefit of the youth,” Gudoy added.
Governor Imee R. Marcos, known to be an advocate of youth involvement in governance and as former chairman of the Kabataang Barangay, said that INYO hopes to clear out the confusion between SIKA and SYO, which are often associated as a single organization.
The SYO which became a permanent Capitol department through Provincial Ordinance No. 039-2015 last July 14, 2015 evolved from the provincial government’s program ‘Sirib Express’ created in 2013 to provide assistance to students, out-of-school youth and job-seeking graduates.
The program has offered educational scholarships, employment assistance, guidance counseling as well as various seminars and workshops, among others.
In September 2015, Sirib Express was recognized as one of the ten Galing Pook awardees, the annual search for best local governance programs nationwide led by the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Moreover, SIKA, a non-government organization and the largest youth-led volunteer group in the province created last April 2014 during a leadership camp, is said to be the greatest accomplishment of SYO.
With more than 6,000 members to date, SIKA members serve as SYO and the provincial government’s partners in good governance by becoming as volunteers during events, distributors of Paspas Dur-as! Newsletter, tour guides and partners in ensuring that programs of PGIN reach the grassroots, Gudoy noted.
Meanwhile, Governor Marcos hopes that with the name change, INYO will pave the way to the creation of a youth office in every municipality and city, further believing that the Ilocano youth is instrumental to achieving transformational and sustainable growth in the province.
The set-up of the SYO in Ilocos Norte is in line with the provisions of Senate Bill No. 2401 which mandates the creation of Local Youth Development Offices in provinces, cities and municipalities which will ensure the implementation of projects and programs formulated by the ‘reformed’ Sangguniang Kabataan and their Local Youth Development Council.
“Naniniwala ako na kayang-kaya pa rin ng kabataan ngayon na baguhin ang lipunan at himukin ang kanilang sariling kinabukasan. Let us march toward the dream of greatness,” Gov. Marcos said during Sirib Express’ first year anniversary celebration.—John Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO