Bataan youth joins global network of young active citizens

BALANGA CITY, Bataan – Bataan is a place rich in history and heritage. More than anything, the name of the place rings a bell to every Filipino with the memory of valiant soldiers who fought for our country’s freedom during the Japanese rule.

But history is not just reserved for the old days of war. This year, Bataenos make history, and this time, it’s the youth in the limelight.

On June 2, 2018, 26 youth from Bataan gathered at Max’s Restaurant in Balanga City to officially form the Bataan chapter of Junior Chamber International, to be known as JCI Bataan. The gathering was organized by 3 young Bataenos who are members of JCI Makati and collaborated to fulfill their dream of giving the youth of Bataan the venue to become agents of positive change in their hometown –Abul Khayr Amalon “Khairy” M. Alonto II and Mr. Bryan Joseph “BJ” Banzon, both active members of the Bataan Multi-Sectoral Governance Coalition, and Pocholo “The VoiceMaster” Gonzales, the 2018 President of JCI Makati.

Khairy, BJ and Pocholo agreed that forming the JCI chapter in their hometown has the strong potential to highly involve the youth in the attainment of Bataan’s vision that by 2020, and that is to be “the province (with) the lowest poverty incidence resulting from quality growth attaining top-level Human Development Index in the Philippines.”

JCI is a worldwide community of nearly 5,000 chapters in more than 100 countries with approximately 200,000 members comprised of young active citizens and leaders. Its mission is to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.

JCI Bataan is the newest addition to the 300+ chapters in the Philippines. Since its inception, JCI Philippines has produced outstanding members, including Washington Sycip, Henry Sy, Ramon del Rosario, Former House Speaker Sonny Belmonte and Dagupan City Vice Mayor Brian Lim, who currently serves as JCI World President.

Some of its national programs include The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM), Oplan Kaagapay, Beyond Prison Walls, Peace is Possible, Bags to School, Got Heart, Youth Leadership Excellence Award, and Pinay Power.

The chartering of JCI Bataan was led by Pocholo with an “Opportunity to Impact” – JCI’s new member orientation. It was immediately followed by the election of the first JCI Bataan President in the person of Khairy Alonto, Balanga City Economic Investment & Development Office department head.
Khairy also made the official announcement of the JCI Bataan Board of Directors, namely:

• BJ Banzon, Managing Director of ABESCO, as Executive Vice President-Management
• Harold Macapagal, CEO of Nspire, as Executive Treasurer
• Edmer Fabian, CEIDO and BALCEEMCO officer, as Executive Secretary
• Kelvin Rodriguez, Marketing Specialist of AFAB, as Vice President-Programs
• Mark Colentava, founder of Balanga Startup Deck, as Vice President-Learning and Development
• Christopher Sarili, startup developer of Green Box, as Vice President-Business

JCI Bataan aims to be the leading network of young active citizens of Bataan ages 18-40. As of 13 July 2018, 26 members have officially completed their membership requirements, with a goal to have a quality number of 50 members before the end of the year.