Participants with Mayor Noel Rosal

Anchored on the theme, “Pagtiripon, Pagkaburunyog, Pagkasararo, Pasiring sa Danay na Paguswag kan Pamilya asin Komunidad,” the first mayoral summer M&D youth camp on April 25-26, 2017 at Bigaa Elementary School, Legazpi City, spurs focus on issues that matter to migrant families.

The M&D (Migration and Development) Camp commenced with a Eucharistic Celebration headed by Rev. Fr. J.C. Omar Socrates Vita, Diocesan Commission on Migrants and Itinerants Chairman. Dr. Renelyn E. Bautista, Bicol University Communication and Public Relations Office Director, presented over a hundred youth participants covering all education levels and served as facilitator and documenter; while Ms. Zorayda Revelo, Legazpi City Schools Division PSDS, gave the welcome remarks. Engr. Joseph B. Esplana, Head of the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) introduced Rev. Fr. Rex Paul B. Arjona, SAC Executive Director, who keynoted the event.

Organized by the City Government of Legazpi in coordination with Children of Migrants in Legazpi (CML), Department of Education Legazpi City Schools Division, the Social Action Center-Legazpi, and Bicol University, the M&D Summer Youth Camp conducted parallel sessions on leadership, financial literacy, and disaster preparedness. The parallel sessions for the migrant youth were given by Nydia Delfin,  National Youth Commission ROV Commissioner; Ms. Paulette Gay Menguilla, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; Ms. Portia Rogando, City Health Office, Adolescent Health Division; and Myra Marbella of Legazpi City DRRM Office.

Rev. Fr. Bernard Collera, SVD, Divine Word College of Legazpi Guidance Counselor, gave a separate session for guidance counselors and advisers in attendance on Guidance Counseling for Children of Migrants. Vicente Baltazar III, City Councilor and Chairman of the Committee on Youth Development, Yco Tan Jr., President/CEO of TANVERA Corp., and Jose San Jose, president of Organisayon nin Pamilyang Migrante kan Legazpi (Organization of Migrants’ Families in Legazpi) gave their solidarity messages during the Mayor’s Night.

Guidance counselors with Fr. Bernard Collera

Team building activities and indigenous games (Laro ng Lahi) were also conducted. The youth camp was capped with a Eucharistic Celebration officiated by Rev. Fr. Jeronimo Ma. Sevilla. Atty. Melissa A. Armadillo, Chairperson on Committee on Migration, presided over the awarding ceremony along with the other partner-representatives. Mayor Noel E. Rosal gave the closing message after which, the Signing of Covenant was held.

Participants playing tug of war

The summer youth camp is one of the series of trainings and activities under the M&D program, which is an off-shoot of the UNDP Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) cascaded to local government units (LGUs).  The City Government of Legazpi has a long-standing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on a continuing triangulated collaboration engagement on Migration and Development with Social Action Center-Diocese and Bicol University.  (Renelyn E. Bautista/BU-CPRO)

CML Officers with the M&D TWG members