Seven teams of high school students presented policy-based solutions to local problems at the 2014 Philippines National Project Citizen Showcase. The Philippine Center for Civic Education and Democracy (PCCED), the Center’s Civitas International Programs partner in the Philippines, organized the showcase on April 5.The seven teams represented the areas of Baguio-Benguet, Davao City, Batangas, Bacolod City, National Capital Region, Sorsogon City, and Butuan City. The national showcase was the culmination of their year-long effort to research issues in their community and develop policy-based solutions to those issues through the Project Citizen curricular program. The seven teams participating in the national showcase were selected during regional showcases in their local areas.
At the National Project Citizen Showcase, the teams presented portfolios of their work to their peers and a panel of evaluators, which included Ma. Yolanda Crisanto, vice president for corporate communications of Globe Telecommunications, Inc.; Leon Flores III, chairperson of the National Youth Commission, Minnie Salao, project manager of the Friedrich Neumann Foundation Philippines; Monica Ang, consultant for PCCED; and attorney Gregorio Austral, board member of PCCED.
Top policy projects included reducing adolescent smoking, using aquaponics systems to create jobs, and implementing peer counseling to counter bullying in schools.
Showcase evaluators selected the teams from Sum-Ag National High School of Bacolod City, Las Piñas City National High School–Main of the National Capital Region, and Pines City National High School of Baguio City as the top three classes.
Crisanto said that she was happy to take part in this event because she saw that the youth are even more informed than people make them out to be. She also said that they should “continue in the pursuit of the betterment of the society.”
Flores said that despite this being his third year of participating in the event, he is still amazed by what the students can do with regards to the progress of the country. He said that they should “continue being pasaway because being pasaway means going against the status quo. And that means the youth are not happy with the status quo, and they are doing something about it.”
The Project Citizen civic education program has been adapted for the local context and is implemented by PCCED in the Philippines in partnership with Globe Telecommunications, Inc. PCCED has trained 1,029 teachers and 5,400 students in 272 high schools throughout the Philippines in Project Citizen.