Under the theme ‘Youth Building Peace,’ the San Pedro Engage Youth Summit was held last August 12, 2017. It brought together 400 youth – private and public high schools as well as out-of-school youth at the San Pedro Astrodome, Pacita Complex.

The Youth Summit aims to raise awareness and broaden the understanding of the youth about different topics, and to shape them in becoming responsible citizens and future leaders of the city and the country.

PeaceTech Inc., represented by its Executive Director, Ms. Meg Villanueva, and field officer Ms. Zaynab Ampatuan, joined the event by sharing about young people’s role in peacebuilding, especially by being responsible digital citizens and social media users. Ms. Villanueva also shared about the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 https://www.youth4peace.info/UNSCR2250/Introduction and the importance of recognizing the role of young people in different peacebuilding initiatives. She also reiterated the importance of ‘changing narratives of young people being tagged only as perpetrators or victims of violence, but not as agents and actors for peace.’ She said that it is time that we take a stand and understand that ‘we, young people, are the NOT JUST the future, we are also the PRESENT.’

Ms. Zaynab Ampatuan, in her intervention, focused on the role of stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination in the day to day lives of young Filipinos. By introducing herself as a Muslim woman and with a controversial last name ‘Ampatuan,’ she challenged young people to look beyond identities and avoid judging based on religious and cultural differences. She shared to the youth the importance of addressing ignorance (about each other) in today’s society, and to work for embracing our diversity.

Aside from peacebuilding and digital citizenship, other topics discussed were drug abuse, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS by ASEC. Earl Saavedra of Dangerous Drug Board and Commissioner Percival Cendaña of the National Youth Commission, and ‘social media for social good,’ by Mr. Rupert Ambil II of Move.ph.

The program was organised by the Department of Youth and Sports Development (DYSD), under the leadership of  Executive Assistant Aaron Calixto Cataquiz. Also in the event were Kon. Edgardo Berroya, Kon. Jimbo Ambayec, Kon. Carlon Ambayec, Kon. Kent Lagasca and Kon. Bernadeth Olivarez.