Singer and former child star Cariza “Aiza” Yamson Seguerra on Tuesday formally assumed post as the new National Youth Commission (NYC) chairperson.
During the oath-taking at the NYC headquarters in Quezon City, Seguerra bared plans and priorities for the three-year term as head of the said Philippine government’s sole policy-making body on youth affairs.
“NYC will do its best to reach the people. My plan is to go to every region in the country to know what problems the youth are facing, be it health or education, we want to know everything so we can effect solutions immediately,” Seguerra told reporters covering the event.
“I really want to consult with the sectors in different regions because I don’t want to have a cookie-cutter policy. For me, there are different problems in different places. It is very important that all voices will be heard,” the Pagdating Ng Panahon hitmaker added.
On Monday, Seguerra together with wife Liza Diño, joined other appointees of President Rodrigo Duterte in a mass oath-taking ceremony held in Malacañang.
Diño has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, also for a period of three years.
Aiza and Liza are known staunch supporters of Duterte even prior to the May 9 presidential elections.
“I thanked the President last night. I told him, ‘Don’t worry, I will not fail the Philippines and I will make you proud’ and then he responded ‘Let’s fix the Philippines’,” the new NYC chair shared
“Now I’m just looking forward to everything. Last night, I was actually very anxious because of mixed emotions. There are so many things I want to do. There are also many things that I can’t wait to happen. Right now, we are preparing for the start of the transition,” Seguerra beamed with excitement.
Seguerra admitted that the job is entirely new as it’s way different from the rigors of show business.
“This job is entirely new to me, there are different processes like presiding a meeting. In all honesty, I found it funny because when I was having my briefing last night, I was concerned about terminologies I’ve encountered for the first time. However, when it comes to organizational skills and flow it’s not exactly new to me because in my job before, there were also organizations put in place because the production cannot run perfectly without it,” Seguerra said.
“Same thing for me, you have to organize everything to be able to run this agency well. You have to have the right direction and the right division and you have to make sure that everyone is doing their job,” Seguerra continued.
The appointment came as a surprise; in fact, the popular singer rejected it at first but realized that this is the opportune time to serve in government.
“It was shocking because when they asked us for help about arts and culture, we agreed then immediately we did some consultation with cultural workers and practitioners. From there, we got the call asking us if we wanted to serve with the government and we said ‘No, that’s not really our plan’ then they pointed out that ‘No, the President wants you to be in government’. So, of course, we cannot just decline the offer,” Seguerra said.
“What I just told them is that if ever I will be given a position, I wanted to be in a place where I know I can do things. I don’t want to be in a position where I don’t know anything about. So when they gave me NYC, I got excited. Of course, there’s still my advocacy for the LGBT, and then there will be advocacies for the marginalized and indigenous people whom we will give voices to as we believe it’s about time to listen to their complaints and grievances, but the sad thing is, no one’s listening,” Seguerra lengthily related.
Meanwhile, when asked about the negative reaction from people especially netizens against the appointment of the couple, Seguerra defended saying, “I’ve had bashers ever since. I will not stop them, just go ahead. They can question everything, about me, but they cannot ever question my integrity. So go ahead.”
“But what I’ve been saying since before is that they can bash me, but not my wife. Maybe they know that is my soft spot, when she is being attacked because I know she doesn’t deserve it. I rant but only to my friends, not publicly.”
Seguerra also wants to help the Duterte administration in the campaign against drugs.
“For the anti-drug campaign, we plan to establish rehabilitation centers specifically for the youth. I still have to meet with the commission first, though, but if you ask me, I want to make sure that the youth sector will be afforded rehabilitation because it’s not yet too late for them, there’s still hope for their future. I have no details for that as of now but for sure we will be pushing for it,” Seguerra ended.