“I am indifferent. I don’t care” - That was the statement of Joesam B. De Quia back then. Now that I got the chance to talk to him, he is a change man. It feels proud and inspiring to talk to this kind of youth where he is not passive citizen of this country but take pro-active measures to solve problems and contribute positive change in the society.
Joesam B. De Quia took Bachelor of Arts major in English at Mindanao State University- GenSan. During our college days, he did not care much about current issues particularly in youth development. That time, I am aware that he was the SK Chairman in Barangay Laguimit, Glan Sarangani Province (from November 2007 to August 2010). He also served as Administrative Staff Officer in the Local Government Unit of Sarangani in the Office of Panlalawigang Pederasyon ng Sangguniang Kabataan (PPSK). But I did not yet see that burning passion in him to serve the public. I understand him because he took time to reflect on what he really wanted. When I met him now, I see in him the desire to help and contribute change in the society.
“There’s a difference between what you observe and what you experience”, Joesam said. He involve himself in different communities in Sarangani, research and analyze lot of issues and meet ordinary to influential people just to understand the current problems of our country. It’s an advantage for him because he is currently working as Chief of Staff of the Philippine Councilor’s League (PCL) where his boss, Atty. Cyril John Rustico G. Yap, is the President and Regional Chairman. Joesam is also Legislative Staff Officer II in LGU-Sarangani. With his positions, he can easily present his proposals and resolutions in the province.
In the 10th National Youth Parliament (NYP) held last May 15-18 in Manila, he was appointed as the Regional Convener for Region XII and a member of the Regional Youth Advisory Council. “The NYP or Parliament of Youth Leaders is a 3-day convention of youth leaders every two years wherein policy recommendations are formulated to address youth issues, and serve as government’s guide in policy formulation and program development. The convening of the NYP is provided under Section 13 of Republic Act No. 8044, otherwise known as the ‘Youth in Nation Building Act of 1995’.”
As a youth convener in Region XII, he will convene different youth organizations, polish and monitor their advocacy plans, make resolutions for youth development and lobby it to the LGUs and other government agencies. Furthermore, he will help find solutions in the problems in health, education, employment and youth participation as identified in Youth Development Index. He (and his team) is also pushing for a separate office that will cater the youth sector (In Sarangani and other provinces) just like what the Youth Affairs Development Office (YADO) continuously doing for the youth in GenSan.
Joesam also has good heart for our fellow Indigenous People (I.P.). He wants to uplift their condition and wants them to exert their right to self-determination. “Sometimes they forget that they are IPs”, Joesam said. “They should be proud and value themselves as an IP,” Joesam asserted. And because of this love for IPs, he starts to organize IP youth in Sarangani to help them inform about their rights and help them be empowered. Since he has a B’laan blood running thru his veins, I know he will be successful in his advocacy for the IP youth.
Joesam’s achievements are really amazing. He is only 22 years old, a young man full of passion to serve the public. But of course with these achievements comes inevitable bashers. “At first, I felt bad about this people talking behind my back,” Joesam recounts. “I cannot concentrate in work. It drained my energy. But as time goes by I learn to handle it well as if they do not exist. As long as I do not commit crimes in the government and to the public, I still continue to do my job properly and push my advocacies”, Jeosam said.
I really admire Joesam and other active youth in nation building. Though there are some youngsters today that show apathy towards societal issues, Joesam and the others serve as an inspiration. With the help of Joesam and other pro-active youth participating and contributing positive change in the society, there is hope to it. The future of this country is not as bleak as we imagine. As what Jose Rizal said, "The youth is the hope of our future".
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.