By Jun de Leoz
THE Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol is enlisting the young people in the region in its bid to steer them away from criminality.
The program, dubbed “USAP- ta-YOE” (United Services and Actions on Poverty Together with the Agencies for Youth Opportunity Expo) aims to address the problem of youth delinquency.
B/Gen. Arnel Escobal, head of PNP-Bicol has signed a memorandum of agreement with a research team from University of California, Princeton University and the Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) as well as other government agencies and organizations to find means and ways to address poverty and promote the welfare of the out-of-school youth in the region.
Escobal said lack of proper guidance, education, and opportunities are only among the factors identified that increased the susceptibility of becoming offenders themselves or fall prey to criminal syndicates.
In addition to PRO-5 existing efforts and initiatives, “USAP ta-YOE” also aims to bring together various government agencies as well as NGOs through the “whole of the nation approach”.
The PNP will serve as an orchestrator in coming up with a sustainable program that will benefit the out-of-school youth and make basic services more accessible to them.
The underlying principle is that an empowered youth will not be easily influenced and be drawn to crime but will also play an active role in advancing the government’s peace agenda and in achieving the country’s development goals.
The project will provide a platform for greater collaborative engagement among government agencies, NGOs, the private sector and the people of the community to streamline and ensure the efficient and effective delivery of its services.
It will also serve as a medium in disseminating information in relation to the existing governmental programs and services that can be availed by the youth.
It also aims to reduce dependence on dole outs, promoting financial capacity and raising overall living standards.