MAGANES: Barangay general assemblies and ” Linggo ng Kabataan”

November 7, 2011 at 11:18 am Leave a comment



There are two important activities under the Local Government Code of 1991 or Republic Act No. 7160 that were not given much attention and importance in the month of October this year. It maybe because we were swarmed with many activities such as the Senior Citizens’ Week, National Statistics Week, Bright Child Celebration and many others that the Barangay General Assembly which was synchronized nationwide and the “Linggo ng Kabataan” were not provided with preferential attention as those earlier stated.

I was also not aware that there were barangay general assemblies that have been undertaken in the first week of October. I was expecting at least a notice from our barangay officials or a public information sound system going around in the barangay, but it was not so. I was just informed after several days that the general assembly was already conducted.

With or without invitation to attend the general assembly is not my point here. As barangay residents, it is our duty to attend the barangay general assemblies to hear the reports of our barangay officials and to know what developments are taking place in our barangays. In like manner, it is also the time wherein we will know how we can be of help to our officials particularly in promoting various development programs in the barangays.

We are aware that many issues are being raised at the barangay levels. Barangays, for that matter, are the fronliners in the delivery of basic services to the people. Most of the time, we hear barangay residents murmuring and telling that their barangay officials are doing nothing for their good and welfare. They will concoct unsavory ideas such that later on will demean the leadership of those sitting barangay officials.

Barangay general assemblies are designed to be the venue to air the residents’ complaints and issues. It is there where they will know the financial condition of the barangays. It is there where they will know what services are available and what have already been done with those basic services. But then, people take the general assemblies for granted. They don’t want to attend maybe because of their own personal reasons, but when problems crop up in the barangays, these people are the ones who complain the most.

What I am trying to convey here is that, let’s not take barangay general assemblies for granted. By attending them, our eyes will be opened to realities that some of our elected barangay officials don’t deserve to be in their positions and maybe it is time also to examine ourselves whether they are still deserving to be elected in the next elections. We have no right to complain if we are not aware of what’s going on in our barangays.

How about ” Linggo ng Kabataan?” The Local Government Code specifically declare the last week of October as the “Linggo ng Kabataan” to be undertaken by the Sangguniang Kabataan in every barangay and the Federation of Sangguniang Kaataan at the municipal levels. I have yet to hear what the Sangguniang Kabataans are doing for the mandate given to them. I have yet to hear also what they have done for the Linggo ng Kabataan in which they are supposed to have also a general assembly among the youth members, conduct of activities such as sports and leadership seminars and trainings. But none. We could not blame these youth leaders anyway. They are still in schools and have been busy reviewing for their final examinations in time for the semestral break.

Don’t you think, this is now the time to abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan? In my past articles, I dwelt lengthily on the abolition of this youth group, not because they don’t deserve to be such leaders but because they don’t have the time to perform their mandated tasks. We are aware that 10% of the appropriated budgets- barangays, municipalities and provinces, are alloted to the Sangguniang Kabataan. But how are these budget being spent? We often hear study tour in the guise of excursion, sports competitions but limited to basketball tournaments where the bulk of the money go to the referees, sign boards, etc. When will we see that these youth leaders will really come up with more noble and productive projects in the barangays, municipalities/cities and even provinces?

Someone told me,”We are preparing the young people to be our next leaders.” And I answered back, “We are preparing them as well as the next corrupt leaders.” Who among our SK Chairmen are sons or daughters of sitting politicians? Who among them can think and act on their own without the shadows of their politician-parents? Our youth leaders in the SK are already politicized. At their very young ages, they were exposed already to vote buying upon the orchestration of their parents. Last SK elections, I could not believe what I heard that the parents of a candidate for SK Chairman bought cellphones as giveaways to the young electorates. If that’s not corruption, then tell me what it is?

However, I am not yet resigned to having a good youth organization. The sitting powers from the barangays up to the provincial levels could still make a way to develop these youth leaders. I believe they could be more productive if they will be given more activities related to cultural and tourism promotions.

That I will have to see in the next three years.

(For comments, email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com)

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Entry filed under: News.

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