Ms. Rhea B. Peñaflor, a graduate of the West Visayas State University College of Mass Communications (now College of Communication) is the newly appointed Commissioner of the National Youth Commission (NYC) for Visayas. Her appointment was signed on February 16, 2017. She admits, “A colleague simply asked me to send him my CV and so I did. Then I got a letter from Malacañang and the rest is history.”
Presently, a Consultant of ChildFund International, as well as a Technical Consultant for various organizations and companies, Rhea has a slew of Humanitarian and Development Work under her belt. Among these includes: (1) handling and working with street children, children of prostituted women, people living with HIV, (2) developing capacities for behavior change for at least 60 peer educators every year and installation of peer education systems in at least 10 communities and high-risk environments in Western Visayas, (3) successfully initiated, implemented, and spearheaded the first Provincial Health Summit, (4) served as overall coordinator and sole consultant for Iloilo working with DOH VI, University of the Philippines in the Visayas Foundation Inc. (UPVFI), LGU partners, and other INGO and NGOs, (5) being the implementing partner and adviser of Iloilo Pride in LGBT advocacy and HIV and AIDS awareness, and (6) has worked as technical advisor for 27 rural health units in Iloilo.
Being a longtime Peer Counselor, Trainor and Resource Person to the Adolescent Health Youth and Development Program (AHYDP) under the Commission on Population Region VI, Rhea is planning to strengthen advocacies which are dear to her. “I specifically want to focus on the Adolescent Health Development Program (AHDP) emphasizing on HIV and AIDS awareness since Region 6 has shown an increase in the number of youth getting the virus”, shares the former Kabataang Gabay para sa Positibong Pamumuhay (KGPP) Executive Director. “I likewise support child protection and I’m against the lowering of the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 9 years old. As a children’s rights advocate, I believe that by lowering the age, it will only yield negative outcomes for children and the society. There must be a systems approach, you just don’t blame or punish children, rather they should be shaped in order for them to better members of the youth and eventually, become society’s future leaders”.