Escudero opposes Rizal’s famous words

Youth urged to act now

No one has argued against Dr. Jose Rizal’s famous quote, “Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan (The youth is the hope of the country).” Until now.

Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero stunned the audience July 8 after questioning the national hero’s words in a symposium titled “Chizmisan” at the University of the Philippines School of Economics Auditorium.

“Kung pag-asa lang ako, anong tawag mo sa akin ngayon? (If I am only a hope, what can you call me now?)” the senator challenged.

Senator Escudero said that being a hope for the future is not enough. He has shown disappointment to the youth’s passivity and being “sunud-sunuran” (docile) amid the country’s issues and turmoil.

“Ngayon, dito, ang kabataan ang dapat maasahan ng bayan (Right now, here, the youth should be counted on by the country),” he said.

University of the Philippines-Diliman Student Council Chairperson Titus Tan, also a speaker in the said symposium, proposed heightening constituent participation, particularly student dialogue with the government. The chairperson also presented students’ views on good governance as well as graft and corruption.

Jose Marteen Vega, president of the Philippine Council of Economic Students (PCES), discussed a nine-point Youth Agenda from the economics perspective, namely: corruption, investment, taxation, education, health services, social safety nets, environmental sustainability, job opportunities and competitive advantage and nationalism.

Prof. Rizalina Mondala-Tablari of the Tarlac College of Agriculture emphasized that agriculture and intergenerational equity is necessary for economic progress. Intergenerational equity focuses on the preservation of resources for future generations.

The symposium concentrated on social transformation and the Youth Agenda.

This the first of a series of fora hosted by the UP Economics Towards Consciousness (UP ETC).

Students from the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, Tarlac State University, Tarlac College of Agriculture, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and the University of Santo Tomas attended the said symposium. ▪

Article by Maria Socorro Marina de Villa