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Youth perspective on the City Council


In the implementation of the 1st Zamboanga Youth Leaders Parliament (ZYLP), one of the most honorable initiative from the Youth especially involving the student leaders from various organizations specifically student governments in high school and student councils in the college, commencing at Western Mindanao State University for a general orientation disclosing that the 1st Challenge of the event is “Understanding Parliamentary Procedures in the Local Sangguniang Panglungsod”.

The 1st ZYLP commencing February 22-25, 2012 made a historic visit at the Sangguniang Pnglungsod Session Room at the 2nd floor of the City Library. The Lead Convener, Aldrin Bucoy Abdurahim reminded the participants to observe and understand better the essence of passing resolutions and ordinances made by the local legislators for peace, governance and development.

The 1st ZYLP before the session were acknowledged by the Presiding Officer in the honor of Vice Mayor Cesar Ituralde. With the warm welcome, most of the councillors greeted the members of the said ZYLP. After mentioning the name of the participating schools, the organizers were also acknowledged.

Very significant is how Chavacano Language had been integrated in the city councils’ session, in the observance of the Dia de Zamboanga Celebration and the ordinance mandating all Zamboanguenos to observe February 22 as the Chavacano Language Day, the City councilor’s adopted chavacano as the ultimate medium for communication.

One of the greatest lesson for the day is how Zamboanguenos and other ethnic tribes living in Zamboanga city preserves the Chavacano Language. Even the Councilors find hard in speaking straight Chavacano that is also the case from the youth. We knew that we have been the melting pot of cultures in the Southern Philippines, thus we need to strengthen the campaign of letting every people in this city use the language of Chavacano.
When the Majority Floor Leader Hon. Jaime Cabato, after Hon. Reinerio Candido took over temporarily for less than  two minutes spearheaded the opening of the Council’s Order of Business, most of the youth, being First Timers inside the City Council session, were very excited to understand Parliamentary Procedures.

Every time a councilor, acting as a legislator as mandated in the Local Government Code of 1991, deliberates any motion to any of the resolution or ordinances on its second reading, the youth were given opportunity not just to plainly observe the proceedings but to deliberate as well the content of the resolutions and ordinances for the best of Zamboanga city.
Many resolutions and ordinances are deemed beneficial for the City of Zamboanga. The concern of the youth are issues on peace, governance and development. The youth, after the session at the City council shared their experiences and gave recommendations and realizations thereafter.

Most of the youth unanimously shared that their first-time experience gave them a first-hand observation of how city councilors works. With four members of the opposition questioning the proposed resolution of its essence and impact to the people of Zamboanga and the majority bloc voting for the passage of the resolution, it made them realize how equity plays a role  for the development of the city.

The sacredness of the Plaza Pilar as against an area for public consumption, the Improvement of the Grandstand were deliberated attentively with various comments on both the opposition and administration with only six councilors regularly speaking in the podium to share their recommendations and questions.
Now, the youth eyeing on their leaders capacity to defend them on any resolution concerning the betterment of the communities they are living with, frustrated at certain point but were challenged to also be role models for fellow youth especially that they themselves will undergo parliamentary proceedings on the last day of the ZYLP.

The Council Session Visit seeks better opportunities for the youth in addressing societal divides through reforms and legal acts of legislation from the youth. The 1st ZYLP is the 1st convergence of youth leaders in the City of Zamboanga whose primary goal is to craft resolutions and policy programs and help the city government of Zamboanga  and other institutions  anchored on Peace, Governance and Development.

The organizers include from Youth Solidarity for Peace and Peace Advocates Zamboanga together with Western Mindanao State University Student Council, El Consejo Atenista-Ateneo de Zamboanga University and Zambaonga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology- Supreme Student Council and American Field Service.


by Aldrin Bucoy-Abdurahim

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