PUERTO PRINCESA, June 17, 2022 – Youth leaders across the country gathered in Puerto Princesa Coliseum on Wednesday as the Department of Education (DepEd) successfully launched the Philippine Youth Convergence (PYC) 2022 with the theme, #YOUthBelong, Embracing Diversity, Achieving Quality, and Inclusive Education for All.

The student-leaders and learners from the 17 regions are expected to craft a Youth Education Agenda and select Regional Youth Convenors to provide evidence-based insights and perspectives on various social, political, economic, and environmental issues affecting the Filipino youth and the country during the three-day national event.

“Aside from imparting knowledge and wisdom to you, our young learners, the PYC was also developed to learn from you. The DepEd envisions PYC to be an avenue for the youth in making better policies with regard to your education and your involvement in public and civic affairs,” Assistant Secretary for Youth Affairs and Special Concerns Juan Valeriano Respicio IV said.

“We believe that the participation, perspective, and the voice of the youth are integral in crafting policies, projects, and programs that will truly reflect their hopes and address their needs,” Asec. Respicio added.

Featuring plenary talks and panel discussions on topics including the state of Filipino youth, educational challenges affecting the youth, child protection, and financial literacy, delegates are set to craft the Youth Education Agenda that will reflect their outlooks, constructive feedback, and policy recommendation on DepEd programs and projects.

“The youth belong to this conversation. You belong to DepEd’s educational agenda. You belong to this family, and above all, you belong in a better Philippines we are all aspiring for, and we hope that you will take this opportunity to look further and further building connections and broaden your horizons,” he added.

Meanwhile, Vice President-elect and incoming Education Secretary Sara Duterte encouraged everyone to participate in PYC activities.

“I am confident that this three-day summit will become an avenue for growth that promotes inclusive learning, providing ample opportunities for the participants to hone their skills, impart ideas about relevant issues of today, and acquaint themselves with the importance of network building. And so, I am encouraging everyone to wholeheartedly take part in the activities,” the incoming education chief said in her virtual message.

World Vision ambassador and keynote speaker Joyce Pring-Trivino, on the other hand, discussed how the learners could go beyond their limits.

“I really believe that we can go beyond our potential by figuring how we can find out, first, our purpose, second, how we can persevere in our daily habits o ‘yong mga sistema na mayroon na tayo sa buhay. To reach our potential and go beyond it, find our purpose, and third and finally, we must gain a deeper, bigger, and different perspective in life,” Pring-Trivino said.

The opening of PYC was also attended by Regional Director Nicolas Capulong, Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron, Youth Formation Coordinators, DepEd program advisers, and other stakeholders.