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The City Government of Baguio may soon have a program aimed at inspiring innovative young minds in the city.

Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan has proposed an ordinance seeking to establish Baguio City’s Youth Innovation Awards Program.

The program intends to set an opportunity for the youth in the city to be able to present their innovative ideas which could contribute to the different fields such as education, health, and science and technology, among others, encouraging their natural creativity and advancing their spirit of ingenuity and eventually even entrepreneurship.

According to the ordinance, entries shall be from individuals or from teams/groups with ages ranging from 14 to 21 years only. Participants must be residents of the city and must not be a relative of any member of the Innovative Awards Committee within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity.

Furthermore, the entries must be original and not copied online or not owned by another individual, business, or inventor.

Included in the criteria for judging is the entries’ significance/value to a certain field. The entry must be accompanied by a write-up explaining how the output would be able to address a specific problem in the community, government, or barangay.

The entries shall also be judged based on its relevance to any of the following aspects: automating a tedious task or function; boosting the economy; creating job opportunities; improving public safety and security; improving productivity or speeding up action and improving the quality of life; preventing or reducing injuries; protecting the environment; reducing consumption of natural resources; saving lives; and others to be determined by the committee.

Prizes for winners shall be any or a combination of the following: cash prize; scholarship grants from colleges and universities in the city; and certificates/plaques/trophies.

The winners as well as the beneficiary/beneficiaries of the innovations shall enter into a memorandum of understanding/agreement with the city government.

The winning entries shall become the properties of the city government and may not be sold by any LGU employee/official, any member of the committee, or even the developer of the innovation. Recognition to the owner/s shall remain throughout the use of the innovation/s by the beneficiaries.

The Youths Innovation Committee shall consist of the city mayor as the chairperson, chairperson of the Sanggunian’s Committee on Youth Welfare and Sports Development as the action officer, and representatives of the Department of Education-CAR Schools Division and Department of Science and Technology-CAR joined by the Sanggunian’s Committee on Education, Culture, and Historical Research as members.

The committee shall be tasked to provide detailed descriptions of the competition, spell out the criteria in selecting the winners, and coordinate with different schools in the city to ensure the successful implementation of the program.

The Implementing Rules and Regulations and other necessary guidelines shall be prepared by the committee upon the complete approval of the ordinance.

The proposed ordinance has been approved on first reading and referred to the Sanggunian’s Committee on Youth Welfare and Sports Development for review and recommendations. -Jordan G. Habbiling