Last week, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed an executive order to establish two branches of national youth service.
The programs will include the National Service Corps and the Youth Conservation Corps. Projects will include cleaning up the environment, planting trees, building parks, teaching, and establishing food banks, and more.
Both new programs will recruit people ages 18-24 to commit to two years of service in exchange for a chance to improve their communities, build skills, and earn modest pay.
The National Youth Corps is intended to offer “unemployed or underemployed skilled [Filipino] youth or college graduates a chance to contribute to education and community service programs.”
The Youth Conservation Corps is intended to connect “unskilled or less educated [Filipino] youth” with service opportunities in the environment and infrastructure fields. The YCC will absorb an existing program called OYSTER (Out of School Youth Serving Towards Economic Resistance), which enabled out-of-school youth to receive modest pay in exchange for doing environmental, government infrastructure and road maintenance jobs.
“During these trying times, the Philippine spirit and commitment to caring should prompt each of us to count our blessings and give back to those who are less fortunate. Our nation needs us all pulling in the same direction. Volunteering time, skill and resources is a noble undertaking we should all take seriously,” Macapagal-Arroyo said.
Please note that these programs are domestic programs for residents of the Philippines; they are not international volunteer programs for U.S. citizens to take part in.