In search of innovative answers, govt turns to youth
Government officials called on an unlikely partner Friday – the youth – for solutions to longstanding problems plaguing their respective agencies.
The youth is being tapped for their innovation, PhilHealth CEO Dr. Eduardo Banzon told GMA News Online on the sidelines of the second Global Youth Summit presented by AIESEC (Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerciales) in the Philippines.
“This is the first time we’re tapping the youth and they just might over think us,” Banzon noted, saying the country’s heath insurance agency is plagued by under enrollment.
“We’re hitting 85 percent, which means 15 percent of the population is not enrolled. So the question is who is this 15 percent and why are they not enrolled?” Banzon said.
PhilHealth suspects that many of the un-enrolled are young healthy people who think they would not get sick, and the challenge for the government-run health insurance agency is to market the “intangible product” PhilHealth.
“Our product is not tangible, it’s not a service, but it’s insurance. So chances are you’ll be paying for 20 years and you won’t get anything. It only becomes tangible when you’re ill,” Banzon explained.
He added that while PhilHealth contributions are mandatory, the agency is helpless in the face of those you do not pay. “If they do not pay what can we do with them? We don’t have specific actions if they don’t comply. So we market it,” he said.
Meanwhile, K-12 Program director Elvin Uy’s problem lies more on public perception and reception.
“What we’ve found is when we talk to stakeholders, mapamayaman mapamahirap, basta napapaliwanag yung programa, okay sila dun sa reform. Pero when you look in the media, there seems to be a popular perception that a lot more people are against it,” he said.
Uy said he is looking toward vigor and dynamism of the youth in explaining the merits of K-12.
“They may not be affected by the program anymore, but they control the conversation. They’re the intellectual elite. Out of 100 Grade 1 students, only half will finish high school. They’re doing the things that most Filipinos can’t,” Uy said.
The DepEd is looking to the youth for a concrete communication plan.
“Yun yung challenge namin sa kanila. Paano ba natin mapapahatid sa mas nakakarami yung message ng basic education reform?” he said.
To help students come up with solutions, Uy provided delegates with the current reality in basic education, and outlined their problem areas. “Basically we are asking, ‘Can they help us push our reform agenda to the broader population?’” he said.
“Basically we’re looking for a social advocacy plan,” he added.
Driving youth leadership
Driving youth leadership
While the department is primarily in search of a marketing plan, Uy said DepEd is open to ideas from the student targeting other problem areas within the department.
Like PhilHealth, it’s the first time DepEd has reached out to students for solutions, despite consultations with stakeholders in the past.
“We have given a concrete case to the students and students alone and said, ‘Tulungan niyo kami’,” Uy added.
AIESEC Global Youth Summit program director Kat Sanchez noted that they incorporated the case challenge component in the summit for the first time this year to be able to have tangible results.
“It was more inspirational last year, but there wasn’t much emphasis on idea generation,” she said.
“We want to drive youth leadership so we equip young people with skills, and they’re not just running on passion,” she added.
The Global Youth Summit gathered over a thousand youth leaders for the country’s biggest idea generation and brainstorming summit. — VS, GMA News
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