Makati youth leaders latest to rally behind Junjun Binay
WITH former Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr. having filed his certificate of candidacy for mayor of Makati, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairmen are among the latest barangay officials to throw their support behind the former mayor and SK leader.
Barangay Kasilawan SK chairman John Louis Gorge Guce on Sunday said many of the youth leaders who had worked with Binay Jr. "will definitely vote for and campaign for Mayor Junjun."
Guce said Binay Jr.’s experience as a former SK leader was apparent in his support for youth programs in the city and how he related with community youth leaders.
"Mayor Junjun was very hands on with the SK, and you could feel his support for the SK. Kitang-kita kasi yung experience nya, kaya nung umupo sya nung 2010, ramdam na ramdam namin guidance nya," said the 24-year-old, an active community youth organizer.
According to Guce, the young residents of his barangay and neighboring barangays were hoping that Binay Jr. would reinstitute policies that would allow them to use the sports facilities in their respective barangays.
"Ngayon kasi, hindi kami priority sa sariling basketball court namin. Kaya kung may liga, may ibang activities, kailangan namin pumunta ng city hall para magpa-reserve. Kalimitan, may naka-reserve na, mga private companies. Kaya napipilitan kaming kumuha ng court sa ibang lugar, tulad ng Maynila. Sana maibalik ang dati, we hope the barangays will be given back supervision over their own facilities," said Guce.
"We really want the new youth leaders, the newly-elected SK members, to experience the same kind of support na nakuha namin noon," he added.
Karlo Sumadlayon, the SK Chairman of Bgy. Carmona, agreed, saying that Binay Jr. can be credited for training the Makati youth leaders that were elected in this year's SK elections.
"When the SK elections were suspended, Mayor Junjun encouraged youth participation via the TFYD (Task Force Youth Development). We helped organize the Makati Games and other sports leagues," said the 20-year-old Arellano University student.
"Pero ‘di lang liga ginawa namin. Nag-organize din kami ng mga art workshop, theater workshop, at dance workshops na libre para sa mga kabataan ng Carmona. Sa ibang barangay naman tulad ng Tejeros, may mga livelihood at education programs na ginagawa with TESDA. In all of our programs, maaasahan mo ang suporta ni Mayor Junjun," said Sumadlayon.
Bgy. Singkamas SK Chair Jiggs Angelika Dava Paras, a 20-year-old pre-med student from Arellano University, echoed Sumadlayon. She said that many sectors, like the seniors and women's groups, were already mobilizing to campaign for Binay Jr. because "he has always been close to the people."
"Mas malapit talaga si Mayor Junjun sa tao, sa ordinaryong tao. Kaya maraming tao ang natuwa at dumagsa sa City Hall nung nag file si Mayor Junjun. They all welcome his running for mayor, and they all want him to win."
When asked to comment, Binay said that he would look into the policies regarding the use of Makati’s facilities, but stressed that he would institute a “Makati residents-first policy” that would prioritize the city’s residents, and “decentralize” the management of the city’s facilities and allow barangay leaders to supervise their use.
“The city of Makati invests in these facilities for the use of Makati residents. Hindi naman ata tama na di ito magamit ng mga taga-Makati, lalo na ng mga bata. These were built for them, for their activities,” said the former mayor.
Binay Jr. was in the first batch of SK leaders in the country, winning a seat on the SK during the first SK elections in 1992. Binay Jr. served as SK Chairman while taking up Public Administration at the University of the Philippines, where he graduated cum laude before obtaining his Masters Degree in Public Administration, also from UP Diliman.