12 April 2012

SBMA chair urges youth leaders to contribute to economic dev’t

Chairman and Administrator Roberto Garcia of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) encouraged youth leaders to do their part in the economic development of the country by helping promote investor confidence in the local economy.

Speaking before an assembly of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chapters in Central Luzon here on Tuesday, Garcia said that Filipinos, especially the youth, must do their best to take advantage of the present economic upswing.

Garcia also commented on the summit’s theme, “Braving the Challenges of Unending Youth Empowerment, Dedication and Commitment to Good Governance,” saying that this choice was very timely in light of government efforts to restore investor confidence.

“Alam ninyo, ang Indonesia noong araw ay napaka-corrupt na bansa. But with their president who went on a very strong anti-corruption campaign, investors came back with confidence,” Garcia said.

In the 1960s, Garcia noted, the Philippines was second only to Japan. But it later slid down continuously because of corruption, inefficiency, lack of infrastructure and other problems, thereby earning the description as the “sick man of Asia.”

“But with President Aquino’s election last year, what has happened is that the Philippines is now among the VIPs (Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines) that foreign investors are looking at,” the SBMA official said.

The Philippines, according to Garcia, is now heading for an economic upswing, with the stock market registering record highs —a sign of investors’ confidence.

He added that the Sangguniang Kabataan members should contribute their share in maintaining “good governance” as one way of helping in the programs of the President.

“As President Aquino has always said, ‘the future lies in the youth’. So we must do our best to contribute to the programs of the President to take advantage of economic opportunities so that we can provide more jobs for our countrymen,” he added.

Garcia also reminded the youth leaders that they have the appropriate skills and talent necessary for the Philippines to move forward continuously. “So, on your conference today, I hope you can address this,” he said.

More than 350 SK officers and members from provinces and cities in the region attended the three-day Second SK Central Luzon Youth Summit, which started on April 10 at Travelers Hotel in this Freeport.

Aside from Garcia, those who graced the opening ceremony were Olongapo City Mayor James Gordon Jr., National Youth Commission director for Luzon Asst. Secretary Georgina Nava, SBMA director Anne Gordon, and Zambales Vice Governor Ramon Lacbain III. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)