Placards calling for social justice are commonplaces on almost all campuses of the University of the Philippines, a known bastion of activism. This April, youth leaders from all over the country will be raising “placards” of their own as the legislative simulation experience comes to the country’s premiere state university.
The first of its kind in the UP system, the 2018 UP Model House of Representatives will gather hundreds of young problem solvers from different universities and colleges in the historic Diliman campus from April 7-9, 2018 to propose their own legislation along the lines of social justice.
“By bringing the legislative simulation experience to the Iskolar ng Bayan and with social justice at its core, UPMHOR upholds UP’s identity as both training ground of the country’s leaders and champion of the peoples’ rights,” said project co-head and Speaker of the Model House Prince Ragasa.
Based on the actual rules and protocols of the House of Representatives, the program will offer a full-scale simulation of the workings of the Lower House, complemented by trainings and panel discussions by public officials, civil society leaders and experienced youth parliamentarians.
Participants will be distributed among six thematic committees: Human Rights, Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples, Labor and Employment, Poverty Alleviation, Rural Development, and, Women and Gender Equality.
“The themes of our committees are based on what we believe are the most pertinent issues today concerning social justice,” said project co-head Bryan Gonzales. “The agenda also reflects the concerns of the different marginalized sectors in our country at present.”
After the event, bills passed by the Model House will be turned over to allied lawmakers and public officials.
The project was conceived in 2017 by a small group of parliamentarians coming together to form the National Society of Parliamentarians, a non-profit network aiming to enrich parliamentary practice and research in the country. The organizing team now consists of students and alumni from UP’s different constituent units.
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