OFFICIALS of the National Youth Commission (NYC) are being pressured to resign by the Liberal Party (LP) and actively campaign for administration standard bearer Manuel ‘Mar” Roxas 2nd and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.
An agency insider said that NYC Chairman Gregorio Ramon Tingson and his commissioners are being goaded to tender their resignation for the LP campaign. It was not immediately known, however, if actor Jose Sixto “Dingdong” Dantes 3rd is among those leaving the agency.
“Mar and Leni’s numbers do not fare well among the youth sector. They need to project that they have the support of the youth but they could hardly muster independent volunteers and pro-bono artists,” the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.
“This is the reason why the NYC commissioners are being asked to resign and go full-time for the LP campaign,” he added.
Besides Dantes, the other NYC commissioners are Earl Pioquinto Saavedra, JP Penol, Percival Vilar Cendan, and Jose Rafael Cruz.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) had previously reported that the youth vote – powered by 20 million registered voters aged 18-35– is the “key to a candidate’s victory in the coming May elections.
The NYC source claimed that at least one of the NYC officials refused to leave his post, causing a stir among his colleagues. The said official argued that they can help Roxas and Robredo even without quitting.
“The majority wants to stay and use the resources of the agency, including its contacts and affiliated groups for Mar and Leni. However, one of them staunchly opposed the idea, noting that they might suffer the same fate as that of SSS (Social Security System) Eliza Antonino,” the source narrated.
Antonino became controversial after she was seen traveling in a helicopter with Roxas during one of their sorties in the south. The SSS official, who is among the highest paid, is the daughter of Luwalhati Antonino and sister of Darlene Antonino-Custodio. Republic Act No. 8044, otherwise known as the “Youth in Nation Building Act of 1995”, provides that the NYC shall be the policy-making coordinating body of all youth-related institutions, programs, projects and activities of the government. It defines “youth” as “those belonging to the age range of fifteen (15) to thirty (30) years old.”
According to its website, NYC has the duty to formulate and review policy for the youth, establish a consultative mechanism for dialogue with youth, link with government and non-government organizations both at the national and international levels, support youth and youth-serving organizations, and provide training and national secretariat for the Sangguniang Kabataan National Federation (SKNF).