Press Release

“Bida: Be The Change” (Bidahan) Culture Change Program

Bidahan Vision:
We envision a new Philippines where a new culture prevails ? of citizens who are engaged and responsible, and of leaders who are effective, empowering and ethical.
We envision a new generation of Filipinos who rise above personal and family interests and uphold and promote the common good.
We envision the youth spearheading the effort to bring about a new Philippines.
We envision the youth to be the new heroes, ang mga “BIDA”, mga kabataang may Bagong Isip, Diwa at Asal.

Bidahan Core Principles
1. Dignity of every human person
2. Primacy of Truth
3. Importance of exacting Accountability
4. Need to build and support Democratic Institutions
5. Preferential option for the Excluded and Vulnerable Sectors of society
6. Stewardship as the way of proceeding

Background and History
The Bidahan began as a 24-hour youth camp in September 2008 inspired and initiated by Msgr. Gerardo O. Santos, immediate past CEAP National President and CEAP-NCR Director. It was held at the La Salle Greenhills Gym. It was again conducted in November 2009 at the Assumption School - Antipolo. More than two thousand youth leaders from the NCR and a handful of representatives from almost all of the regions have so far participated in the two NCR Bidahans. Using interactive learning workshops, sharing sessions, talks, and music, participants were inspired to advocate the Core Principles and were encouraged to practice ethical leadership and responsible citizenship through participation in efforts to mobilize their fellow youth for the 2010 elections.

In 2009, the CEAP rallied the support of the bigger organization of private schools, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA). With the COCOPEA National Board’s endorsement, the CEAP opened Bidahan’s doors to participants from private schools outside of the Catholic education network. Furthermore, the Bidahan collaborates with advocacy groups whose principles and practices are aligned with those of the Bidahan. They contribute to the content of the Bidahan youth camps and provide avenues for action for the Bidas afterwards.
In July 2009 and February 2010 respectively, the Davao Association of Catholic Schools (DACS) and the Zamboanga-Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-tawi Private Schools Association (ZAMBASULTAPS) joined the effort by conducting their regional Bidahans. The heads of both associations have signified their intention to conduct it once again in School Year 2010-2011. Several other regions are expected to begin their Bidahan programs in 2010-2011.

Operational Phases
I. E1 Stage (Empowering the Youth)
A. The youth begin as participants of the Bidahan Youth Camp
B. At the end of the Bidahan (Youth Camp), the participants as BIDAs commit to live out the Core Principles
II. E2 Stage (Enabling the Youth) - to be done in coordination with the CEAP Bidahan central core group
A. To sustain the BIDAs’ commitment to the Core Principles and to assist them in living it out, each Bida shall become a member of a Bida Chain.
B. The Bida Chain shall be the sanctuary group, the base for the BIDAs’ continuing formation, support and action (E3). It may be school-based, composed of the core group
of representatives sent by the school, or if the number is insufficient, it may be formed by gathering a group of representatives from several schools within a certain geographic area. Schools are encouraged to help set up and support the Bida Chains.
1. Continuing Formation
a. To deepen the BIDAs’ understanding of the Bidahan Core Principles, and to explore and understand concepts and issues related to the Core Principles
b. To help develop and strengthen skills needed to be effective in the BIDAs’ chosen area of advocacy, for example, advocating environment-friendly lifestyles and policies; computing Environmental Footprints; developing listening skills; developing issue/problem analysis skills, advocating anti-corruption, etc.
2. Support
a. To support positive attitudes consistent with the practice of the Core Principles, for example, empathy for excluded sectors 
b. To provide the mentors who can assist BIDAs in tackling challenges to the living out of the Core Principles from real life
c. To provide a community of fellow advocates who can help strengthen one’s resolve to live out the Core Principles

3. Action
a. To provide a base group for direct organized advocacy action, for example, advocating the reduction in the use of plastic shopping bags; monitoring the procurement processes in specific Local Government Units
b. To provide a base group for organizing fellow youth to take up the Bidahan Core Principles

III. E3 Stage (Effecting Change)
A. Sustained by a support group (the Bida Chain), the BIDAs engage in affirmative action (advocacy)
B. BIDAs may join Partner organizations’ advocacy programs as youth volunteers
C. Partner organizations’ advocacy programs become a venue for the BIDAs to practice citizenship (as advocates/participants) and leadership (as promoters/organizers)
D. BIDAs may also effect change by influencing policy, programs and practice in the organization that they may currently be a part of, for example, the Student Council, towards policies, programs and practices that are aligned with and promote the Core Principles

For further information:
Mr. Rene Salvador R. San Andres
National Coordinator, Bida: Be The Change (“Bidahan”)
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University
Telephone: 4266001, local 5020