05312024.Web.Banner Fr Mars P Tan SJ

Good day, my dear student leaders of tertiary schools in our beloved city of Cagayan de Oro and those from other parts of Mindanao. Welcome to all the organizers and delegates to this Congress, the Oro Youth Development Council of the City, the ONE-CDO, the inter-student council alliance of all tertiary schools of the city.

My congratulations to all of you for organizing the E-Tukod: The Mindanao Student Congress, the first Mindanao-wide online youth-led initiative that effectively simulates the congressional process with the theme, “Unite. Engage. Legislate,”

I am impressed by your initiative and ingenuity to organize this E-Tukod Congress, enabling yourselves, our student leaders now, and our nation leaders tomorrow to get an actual experience of a complete simulation of the legislative process of interaction with your fellow Mindanaoan student leaders. I am sure it will be an exciting experience for all of you, beginning with bright ideas that you will make into a bill, sponsoring it and studying it together as a committee. Then, calendar it for voting, and once it’s on the floor, you engage with the other delegates to defend or defeat the bill. Then you decide if you are going to legislate it into law. But, of course, this is easily said than done.

But I am sure it will be an exciting experience for each of you. If you put yourself into it, taking to heart the theme - unite, engage, and legislate, then the learning will just be greatly enjoyable and transformative for everyone. I’ve watched debates in Congress and enjoyed how our representatives and senators interact with one another either decently or indecently. However, I will be much more excited watching you and debating and outsmarting each other.

Thank you for joining and being part of this Congress despite your other significant concerns this weekend. I hope you will benefit from this exercise and later use your learning and skills as leaders to advance the cause close to your heart and essential to the students and community.

Unite, Engage, and Legislate. May you have productive sessions. God bless you all. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.