Pinoy law students set for Geneva for UN video contestPosted on May 1st, 2012 under Art & Living Achievements
By Paul Darwynn Garilao
A scene from “Listen to my Story”
Three law students from prestige schools will represent the Philippines after winning in a video contest sponsored by the International Labor Organization (ILO) Youth Empowerment Forum, a United Nations specialized agency that deals with labor issues pertaining to international labor standards.
As part of their prize, graduating law students Gian Carlo Miranda, Janeca Naboya, and Alfonso Orioste Jr. will fly to Geneva, Switzerland on May 23 to 25, 2012 and present their winning video entry to “more than 100 young people who are engaged in decent work for youth.”
The video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qEIXuMCALE
According to the ILO website, “the [Youth Empowerment] forum will provide a platform for young people to share their experiences and views on the current employment situation, as well as to discuss successful initiatives that create more and better job for the youth.”
ILO launched the video contest on mid March to encourage young people ages 18-29 years old to share how the global crisis has been affecting their lives.
To his surprise, Miranda received a letter from Geneva-based ILO. “You are invited to attend the ILO Youth Employment Forum taking place in Geneva. During the Forum, there will be a ceremony where you and the other two winners will present your videos to all the participants,” the letter stated.
“Listen to My Story”
Besting 250 videos from around the globe, the two-minute short film entitled “Listen to My Story” zeroed into the underemployment problem in Philippines: Those who cannot find a decent work in the country decide to work abroad to seek for better job opportunities.
Conceptualized by Miranda and Orioste, the film focused on a fictional character “Janet” played by their colleague Naboya, who cannot be employed as a teacher and decided to work as a domestic helper in Middle East.
Instead of practicing her profession, Janet prolongs the hardship of working abroad just to send money to her family in Philippines.
“We joined in the video contest to voice our concern to the global community: Young Filipinos are socially aware and can do something to alleviate underemployment in our country,” Orioste said.
Miranda furthered, “By participating in this video contest, we wanted to put a face on the hardships of our fellow Filipinos. There may be thousands of solutions to address underemployment, but we want the world leaders and the young people to talk and engage.”
Decent work for the youth
According to Resolutions adopted by ILO at its 93rd session in 2005, “there are too many young workers who do not have access to decent work…youth unemployment and underemployment impose heavy social and economic costs, resulting in the loss of opportunities for economic growth.”
In the Philippines, there are “1.5 million unemployed youth striving to find employment opportunities after investing in their skills and education that may not be in demand at home or abroad.”
A January 2012 data from National Statistics Office also reveals over-all unemployment rate is more prevalent in National Capital Region (12.2 percent) than in other parts of the country (5 percent).
Like Janet on the video, most young Filipinos decide to work abroad. “It’s a reality that every year, millions of Filipinos work abroad to seek for better job opportunities,” points out Miranda.
But beyond those numbers, the filmmakers experienced unemployment in the country. Citing his personal experience, Miranda shared,” I can relate to this issue because my parents are just like other Filipinos who decided to go abroad to provide a better life to their families in the Philippines.” His experience and encounter with various OFWs in Qatar, where they are currently based, made him aware of their aspirations and struggles.
Naboya added,” Janet symbolizes the plight of Filipinos abroad. Janet could be someone’s mother, sister cousin or friend. There isn’t a single Filipino who doesn’t know someone or is related to someone who had to go through the same thing and we wanted to show the world the stories behind what they have to go through.”
Miranda concluded, “In order to address the unemployment issue, there is a need for strong synergy of vital sectors of the society: government, private agencies, universities, and non-government agencies among others. The government and other sectors should continuously help together and find ways to provide decent work for the youth.”
One of the opportunities that Orioste recommended is to sustain entrepreneurship in the country. “As part of their social responsibility, companies can finance young people who could think of innovative business ideas that are marketable to citizens,” he added.
Aside from presenting their short film, the young aspiring lawyers are expected to share these recommendations on how to reduce unemployment to the global audience.
Before winning in ILO Video contest, the Pinoy law students have been excelling in academics and extra-curricular activities.
Miranda is a graduating law student at the Ateneo de Manila Law School. He is currently the Administration Chairperson of the Ateneo Central Bar Operations. With bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Miranda graduated cum laude and a TOC-TOYM awardee. He was also one of the Ten Outstanding Students of De La Salle University in 2008 and a recipient of President Gloria Macapagal Leadership and Gerry Roxas Leadership Award in 2005.
Naboya is a graduating law student of Lyceum College of Law. She was just recently chosen by the Office of the President-National Youth Commission to represent the Philippines in ASEAN Youth Summit 2012 held in Cambodia. She is also a graduate of Political Science at the Ateneo de Manila University and worked as an intern at a human rights non-governmental organization, the Amnesty International.
Orioste Jr. is an incoming junior law student at San Beda College-Alabang and graduated with a degree of Political Science in De La Salle University-Manila. He is currently the Internal Vice President of their School of Law Government. In 2009, Orioste won in a CNN/YouTube contest and participated in the Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark.