Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian expressed the belief that “community involvement” these days is important, particularly for the youth, in order to make a change.

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Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian (FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

For Gatchalian, instead of ranting on social media, people “must get involved” and “must engage” their community through various means — being a youth leader, joining non-government organizations or get active in school — as they are at a stage where they “can actually be heard.”

“The important thing is that you take that step. Wag kayong puro rant lang (Don’t just rant). You have to remember, walang nasosolve sa pagrarant mo (Nothing gets solved by your rants). This is a bold statement: being heard is one thing, but doing something about it is another thing,” the mayor said in an interview over Radio Pilipinas’ Youth for Truth program Wednesday night.

While Gatchalian recognized that holding or joining rallies is exercising freedom of expression, he said, there still “must be a call to action. And the call to action is get involve in your communities.

“Yung mag rally sa kalsada, yung mga ibang sector, okay (Holding rallies on the streets by different sectors is okay). That’s expression of yourself.  But what did that achieve in the end?” he asked.

Gatchalian is calling on the youth not to lose hope because they can make a change.

“Don’t get frustrated and wag kayong bibitaw. Wag yung bahala na or kasi pagod na ako (Don’t lose hope. Don’t say, ‘come what may’ or ‘I’m tired),” he said. In fact, Gatchalian, who grew up in a family of businessmen said their frustrations prompted them to run for government office.

“Bakit kami pumasok sa larangan na ito? Kasi pagod na kami mag complain. Noong negosyante kami, diba complain kami ng complain. Yung basura, hindi nakokolekta. Yung kalsada, hindi naaayos. Sabi namin, wag ka nang magcomplain. Kung gusto mo maging bahagi ng solusyon, lumahok ka sa proseso. Tumakbo ka, pag nanalo ka, baguhin mo (Why did we join politics? Because we’re tired of complaining. When we were still full-time businessmen, we kept on complaining. The garbage is not being collected.  Dilapidated roads are not being fixed. So we told ourselves to stop complaining. If we would want to be part of the change, then join the process. We should run for office, and if we win, change the system),” the local chief executive said.

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