KB sets 1st youth convergence in Virac
By Arnel Eclarinal LEGAZPI CITY --- Wanting to be part of a unified effort to promote social equality and become key players in the formulation of an integrated socio-economic plan for the Bicol region, a group of youth leaders has formed itself to be the youth arm of Kusog Bikolandia, the region’s newest political party. As a political party for good governance and heightened socio-political engagement, Kusog Bikolandia has collaborated with its youth arm, otherwise known as KB Youth, to host the 1st Catanduanes Youth Convergence to be held on September 29, 2018 at Catanduanes State University in the capital town of Virac, Catanduanes. As one of its noble purposes, Kusog Bikolandia is earnestly seeking to institutionalize political reforms by developing and training potential regional and sectoral leaders, with emphasis on youth, who will be trained as epitomes of renowned Bicolano and Filipino traits, values, and morality in public office. Kusog Bikolandia President Jorge V. Sarmiento, a topnotch lawyer who has worked in various branches of the government, as well as in the private sector, will be the keynote speaker during the youth convergence that will be attended by youth delegates coming from the 315 barangays of Catanduanes, including youth leaders from various local colleges and communities. A native son of Catanduanes, Atty. Sarmiento has been appointed in the executive department of all presidents since Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, GMA, and President Duterte himself where he served as President-COO of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and as Undersecretary of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), among others. Kusog Bikolandia Youth (KBY) was convened by youth leaders hailing from the provinces of Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, and Sorsogon. KBY’s founding members include Jeric D. de Leoz, the Regional Youth Convenor; Mary Joy Acobera, Regional Executive Vice Youth Convenor coming from Camarines Sur; Alea Ana Monica Rejuso, Youth Secretary from Masbate; Michael Angelo Marquez, Youth PRO from Catanduanes, and; Cristephanie May Siapno, Youth Governance Officer from Albay. Nilo Taroy,Jr, is the Provincial Youth Convenor for Catanduanes, Trisha Mae V. Ignacio for Camarines Norte, while Jay Desamparado is the Provincial Youth Convenor for Masbate. Other youth convenors for Albay, Sorsogon, and Camarines Sur, respectively will also be named. Together, they will compose the first Regional Youth Board of KBY. KBY has been granted authority by the executive board of Kusog Bikolandia headed by Mr. Noel N. De Luna and Atty. Sarmiento, chairman and president, respectively, to exercise careful discretion and sound judgment in realizing the party’s ideals for the region’s higher interest and welfare. KB gives its full support in the independence of KBY and will protect it from being politicized. “We are independent in such a way that we are encouraged to come up with our own ideas as we see fit to benefit the youth in accordance with the mother organization’s (KBs) creed and objectives,” KBY vice youth convenor Acobera said. Chairman de Luna, who earned his colorful feathers as a journalist and public relations officer before becoming a successful businessman, said KBY must be seen as an avenue where neutrality should be upheld and free thinking should be exercised. Regional Youth Convenor De Leoz said more productive activities will take off in the next few months in various venues in different provinces in Bicol. The objective is to further sharpen the youth’s dynamic and pivotal role in charting the course towards Bicol progress and development.