Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho ‘Icot’ Petilla attended the inauguration of the new regional office of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency at the Government Center, Palo town.
(Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla FB)

PALO, Leyte– Governor Carlos Jericho ‘Icot’ Petilla issued a challenge to the newly-elected youth leaders of this town, saying they should confront and address issues and problems hounding their community.

The governor made this challenge during the mass oath-taking of the newly-elected barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials held on Monday (Nov.13) at the Leyte Academic Center.

Also present during the mass oath-taking were Vice Gov. Leonardo Javier, board member Ronnan Christian Reposar, Palo Mayor Remedios ‘Matin’ Petilla and her vice mayor, Jojo Chiquillo and court judges.

“This is a growing concern that needs to be addressed. We have to address this problem together with the SK because this is no longer about how to become a leader, but this is about identifying the problem that you have and taking care of yourself,” Petilla said during the mass oath-taking.

He was particularly referring to the growing problem of mental health affecting the youths which is blamed to depression and sometimes end to suicide.

He emphasized the importance of the youth council in addressing this problem as teenagers prefer to talk and share their problems among themselves instead of sharing it with adults.

Aside from mental health problems like depression, SK officials should also focus on other concerns involving youths like drug addiction, and education and not just focus on sports program.

“That is a challenge of the SK right now and I am putting emphasis on the SK because you are the one who will replace us as future leaders,” Petilla said.

Joanne Alcaraz of Barangay Candahug said that mental health problem is one of the concerns that they wanted to address in their area by raising awareness among their fellow youth of how they can cope up with depression and other issues concerning mental health.
“Most youth nowadays are sensitive. They easily get depressed when they get low grades and even offended so we need to create a program to help them manage mental health issues by partnering with organizations and government agencies that cater to this specific problem,” Alcaraz said.

Other than mental health issues, Alcaraz said that she would also want to focus on implementing a program that will help elementary children with their reading ability.