MAGANES: The importance of Sangguniang Kabataan

May 6, 2018 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment


The inclusion of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) in the May 14 elections is a move to renew the participation of the youth in nation building. The old law relative to Sangguniang Kabataan was scrapped that paved way to the legislation of SK Reform Law or Republic Act No. 10742 of 2015. The said law establishes reforms in the SK by the creation of enabling mechanisms for a more meaningful youth participation in our communities.

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 It is disheartening to note however, that during the filing of candidacies, the SK slates in many barangay were not filled up. Only few SK members filed their certificates of candidacies. In fact, according to the Commission on Election (Comelec), there are barangays in the country that have no candidates for SK. Is the government remiss in its duty to have massive information drive among the youth? On the part of the youth, was this a show of their lukewarm attitudes toward politics?

 What are the salient features of the SK Reform Law?

 The Katipunan ng mga Kabataan is composed of registered voters in every barangay whose ages are 15 to 30 years old as defined by Republic Act No. 8044. The Katipunan shall elect the Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson and members, and serves as the highest-policy making body “ that decide on matters affecting the youth in the barangay.” All programs, plans and activities by the SK shall be in consultation and concurrence of the Katipunan ng Kabataan. This reform is a far cry from the previous operation of the SK where programs, plans, projects and activities shall be under the supervision of the Sangguniang Barangay particularly the Punong Barangay.

Now, who can run for the Sangguniang Kabataan officials? Candidates for chairperson and members of SK must be registered voters in the barangay whose ages are 18 to 21 years old. What’s the relevance of these ages? The SK officials who will be elected could already transact and sign legal documents without the interference of the barangay officials.

 Unlike in the old SK, the anti-dynasty provision is prominent. Candidates must not be a relative -consanguinity and affinity, by incumbent elected officials up to the second degree. So this election, we will see SK candidates who are not the sons or brothers of sitting elected officials. The independence of SK could be viewed from this end.

 After election, the winners of the officials of the Sangguniang Kabataan will undergo the mandatory training initiated by the National Youth Commission (NYC) with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). This is to prepare the SK officials to know their roles, duties and responsibilities in the performance of their positions.

 How about the appointment of SK Secretary and Treasurer? In the old SK system, Secretary and Treasurer shall be appointed from among the members of the elected SK members. The new law mandates that Secretary and Treasurer shall be appointed by the SK Chairperson with the concurrence of the SK members from among the members of the Katipunan ng Kabataan. This means that there will be nine officials of the SK- one chairperson, seven members, secretary and treasurer.

 The SK chairperson shall also sit as an ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Barangay who will chair the committee on youth and sports, and will receive honoraria with the same amount as those given to Sangguniang Barangay members.

 All elected SK officials can avail of free college education provided they are enrolled in state colleges and universities. During meetings in the performance of their duties, they are excused their classes provided that they will submit reports of their undertaken activities. They are also exempted from the National Service Training Program (NSTP).

Another reform for the SK is the handling of funds. The 10% SK funds shall be administered by the SK officials. The 10% fund shall be deposited in the name of the SK, which will be withdrawn by the SK officials for their development programs. The barangay officials have no control on how they spend their funds provided the SK officials will observe government accounting and auditing procedures.

 We should not take the SK elections lightly. They will be our next leaders in our communities. As I was observing during the first day of campaign, little importance was given to the SK. Campaigns are focused on the barangay official candidates. Through this column, I hope I am able to inform and educate the youth leading to the election of capable youth leaders in the barangays.

 During the elections on May 14,  18 to 30 years old voters shall be given two sets of ballots- one for the Sangguniang Barangay, and the other one for the Sangguniang Kabataan. Make a wise choice. Elect those who are capable leaders in your barangays.

 (For comments and suggestions, email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com or at virgilmaganes42@gmail.com. Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at www.virgilmaganes.wordpress.com. Read the online edition of Northern Watch at www.northwatch.wordpress.com)

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Entry filed under: News.

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