During the 1st quarter of 2022, the National Youth Commission (NYC) released a compilation of Youth Development Trends.  The said report is divided into major areas such as Education, Health, Economic Development, Governance, Environment, Social Inclusion and Equity, and Global Mobility.

From the concerns raised in the said report, there are 3 which may still be prevalent even in the New Normal or New Reality, as it is currently referred to. 

On education, the NYC is looking into encouraging policy makers and partner agencies and organizations to prioritize public safety and well being of teachers, allied providers and students.  It also advocates for improved support and guidance to students during this crisis especially as protocols have eased and face to face classes have resumed.  Among the concerns raised for education of the youth is the limited to alternative delivery modes of education with the availability of modules, internet connection, technological equipment, etc.  The NYC is likewise hoping that a series of consultations with partner institutions and youth-led and youth-serving organizations will be made ‘to ensure the exchange of views and effective strategic measures.’

Part of the health concerns that NYC is focusing on would be the proliferation of VAPE or e-cigarettes which is highly popular among younger adults in the ages 15 to 24 years.  The young generation has to be made aware that e-cigarettes are not in any way safer than regular cigarettes.  Moreover, nicotine, which is also present in e-cigarettes and VAPE, according to studies, can harm the brain, especially the part which is responsible for learning, attention, mood, and impulse control.  Apart from these, vaping results in ‘diminished defenses of the respiratory system’ thereby having a direct effect on the lungs, which is the organ being mainly affected by Covid-19.  

On a more macro perspective, which is global mobility, the National Youth Commission has also considered the strengthening of community relations among Southeast Asian nations.  It is with the ASEAN vision of realizing a people-centered and people-oriented region.  Accordingly, the youth population is currently ⅓ of the combined population of ASEAN nations and is expected to peak ‘over 220 million by the year 2038.’  The group has also recognized the role of the youth as drivers and catalysts of change, mover of advocacies, community-based initiatives, grassroot projects, spearheads of empowerment and eventually of the overall economic development in Asia.  With these realizations, the NYC is looking forward to more collaborative and relevant projects, along with multi-sectoral and inclusive activities in support of good governance which will help address diversity in the Southeast Asian region as a start.