The Debate Society (DebSoc) alongside the Lasallian Jurists and Peer Facilitators’ Circle organized the first Philippine Model Congress – Batangas at De La Salle Lipa, May 11-12.
With the theme “Empowering the Nation’s Future Leaders”, the event consisted of congressional debate simulations, committee sessions and a plenary talk from Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago.
Among the highlights of the event was the presentation of three bills sponsored by two DLSL students and a student from First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities (FAITH), among which the Mental Health Integration Act of 2018 was voted to be presented in the next national PMC.
Mental Health Integration Act
Aiming to address the discrimination and shame around mental health by integrating mental health education in the junior high school curriculum, the Mental Health Integration Act of 2018 was co-authored by DebSoc Prime Minister Renz Javier.
Other authors of the said act are Gio Burog from DLSL, Jinn Orlanda from De La Salle Araneta University and Andreu Paderna from University of San Agustin – Iloilo.
“This bill is necessary to raise mental awareness in an educational approach and to make a mental health-friendly society,” Javier said.
As the debates ensued, delegates questioned its validity as a subject due to the additional workload it will require from students and the lack of technicalities on the learning competencies, resources and method of assessment and evaluation.
Despite the drawbacks from the debates, all present model representatives voted to pass the bill which also won against the other proposed bills to be elevated in the national PMC.
Other bills presented were the Act of Prohibition of Coal Power Plants of 2017 and the Hospitalization of Public School Teachers Act sponsored by Rashid Quddus of DLSL and Cedrick Sihiyon of FAITH, respectively.
The event was concluded with a motivational speech from Rep. Sarah Elago.
“We may be coming from different backgrounds, different towns, different provinces even in Southern Luzon but with commendable effort of being all of you here together in pursuing a common cause–that is, redefining the youth here in Philippine Model Congress – Batangas,” Elago said.
She also discussed a few of the country’s issues on TRAIN Law, OFWs, education system and the role of the youth in voicing out the wrongdoings constantly and loudly.
PMC-Batangas was adapted from the national youth congress that brings youth leaders from all over the country, where bills passed are presented to the actual Philippine Senate and House of Representatives, giving the youth an opportunity to be heard by the country’s leaders (philippinemodelcongress.org).
According to PMC – Batangas Exec. Sec. Christel Medrano, the event was held in the province due to the observed “low social participation of the Batangueno youth in a collective perspective.”
“We saw our fellow Batangueno youth’s thirst to be heard and to be with people who have the same vision as theirs,” Medrano said.
The Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants (JPIA), Council of Student Organizations (CSO), Student Government (SG), Red Cross Youth (RCY), Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Association of Communications Students (ACtS) also took part in the preparation of the event.