Empowering Youths Through Youth Centers In The City Of San Fernando

To attain its vision to be the Safest Space for the Youth in the Ilocandia Region by 2022, the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation of the City of San Fernando, La Union, headed by Mr. Mark Anthony Ducusin, has aimed to establish SK Teen Centers in every barangay of the city that will provide quality comprehensive youth care and services in a safe and peaceful environment. And on August 12 and 19, 2020, just in time for the celebration of the International Youth Day, the city has officially launched the SK Teen Centers of Brgys. Poro, Catbangen, Ilocanos Sur, Tanqui, Cabaroan, and Dallangayan Este.

Boasting several features such as the youth desk, audio-visual, e-library, reading zone, and chat hub, the teen centers will be an avenue to provide the adolescents of the city not only information and services on their overall health and development, be it mental, reproductive, sexual, emotional, spiritual, or physical but also on aspects such as education, employment, and gender-based violence.  The teen centers shall also be in support of the distance learning of the adolescents in the city as it has an internet access, study space for the students, reading materials, and printing services.

As part of its pledge, POPCOM-I turned over information, education and advocacy materials on sexual and reproductive health, family planning, and population and development to the teen centers. The agency will also provide trainings for the future peer educators of the teen centers. The City Government also pledged their support and commitment to the teen centers by initially providing 1,000 educational tablets which will be distributed to the 59 teen centers in the city. In addition, the Local Youth Development Office had also pledged to give a computer set with printer to each of the teen centers.

Furthermore, on August 18, 2020, the City Council passed on the third reading the Draft City Ordinance No. 2020-20 which institutionalizes the establishment and operation of the San Fernando Teen Center and the 59 Barangay-based SK Teen Centers in the City of San Fernando.

Vice Mayor Chary Nisce lauded the SK’s efforts and initiatives and said, “This teen center is for the youth, for the young people to find a place in the community, to get answers, and it is also a test of leadership because of the challenge on how our SK officials would be able to do good, to do justice, and to do what is right in providing opportunities to its beneficiaries.”#(popcomregion1)

Present in the launching of the teen centers were City Government officials led by Mayor Alfredo Pablo R. Ortega and Vice Mayor Ma. Rosario Eufrosina “Chary” P. Nisce, Commission on Population and Development-I (POPCOM-I) headed by Regional Director Erma R. Yapit, and Barangay and SK officials. It was also attended by the Department of Education represented by the City Schools Division of San Fernando Superintendent Dr. Rowena C. Banzon. 

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