Tacloban visitors laud “Sirib Express” youth program

Tacloban City Liga ng Mga Barangay (LMB) President Mrs. Eden Chua-Pineda lauded Governor Imee R. Marcos’ flagship program for the youth, Sirib Express, following benchmarking activities in Ilocos Norte last September 30 – October 2.

Over a hundred barangay captains from Tacloban participated in a situational analysis presenting the youth in Tacloban City, as well as a presentation of Sirib Express by the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office (INYDO).

Introduced in 2013, Sirib Express was a roving one-stop shop highlighted by personal talks between Governor Marcos and students. It disseminated scholarship and training opportunities.

Sirib Express gave way to the Sirib Leadership Camp, now a yearly and three-level training program for youth in Ilocos Norte. The Sirib Ilokano Kabataan Association (SIKA), the largest youth volunteer organization in the province which now boasts over 15,000 members, was formed during the first Sirib camp.

In 2015, it was awarded one of the Galing Pook Most Outstanding Local Governance Programs, and in that same year institutionalized as the Sirib Youth Office, an official Capitol department for the youth, which was later renamed the INYDO.

“Tacloban City has been through a lot, after Yolanda,” shared Pineda, “we realized we needed some more to be of basic services to the people… what I like most is how the youth sector is being accommodated and being of help to the province.”

Mrs. Arlene Hidalgo, captain of Barangay 20, Tacloban City, also pointed out Governor Imee R. Marcos’ early exposure to local governance through the youth sector in chairing the Kabataang Barangay (KB), a predecessor of the modern Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).

She said that with Governor Marcos’ experience, she would already know the best ways to involve young Ilocanos in nation-building and other affairs important to provincial development.

“Tandaan natin na yung SK program has been for a while walang representation, so gusto namin iyan ma-revive in Tacloban City,” Pineda added, saying that involving youth in nation-building and other similar initiatives could also be a strategy against their exposure to and use of illegal drugs.”

The LMB-Tacloban City was also able to join and benchmark the Capitol Express (CapEx) program with Governor Marcos last Sunday (October 2) at Brgy. Busan, Bacarra, where different provincial offices catered directly to barangay residents in a roving one-stop shop for services including agricultural supplies and equipment, dental and medical consultation, and medicines.

Pineda shared, “I definitely thank Governor Imee R. Marcos for giving us this opportunity… para naming malaman, para kaming matuto dito, which is very advantageous to the City of Tacloban.” (Mizpah Grace G. Castro, PGIN-CMO)