The National Youth Commission has expressed an alarm over the statements of legislators requesting to abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).
The abolition of the youth council will “disenfranchise the Filipino youth,” according to NYC Chairperson Aiza Seguerra.
“It is the most concrete expression of the constitutional mandate that encourages civic engagement among young people. The SK is the embodiment of our faith in the capacity of the youth to contribute meaningfully in transforming their communities and in the process cultivating their leadership skills. Let us not deprive them of that,” Aiza Seguerra said.
“To abolish it is tantamount to depriving the youth of their voice in local governance,” the NYC chairperson has indicated.
The House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, on Saturday said that he wants to abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan, along with barangay councilors, as “they are being paid by the barangay without doing anything.”
Many critics have long considered the the Sangguniang Kabataab or the Youth Council a “breeding ground” of corrupt practices in the country.
In order to control the problem, Republic Act (RA) 10742 or the SK Reform Act was signed into law in January by the former president Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III.
One of the major considerations of the SK Reform Act is the anti-dynasty provision which prohibits any relatives of the incumbent officials – up to the second level of affinity and consanguinity – to hold an SK position.
Additionally, the law also states that the SK officials need to be 18 to 24 years old and are also required to undergo good governance and fiscal transparency training.
The new development ensures the vital role of the SK in the grassroots level as an “effective and efficient governance mechanism specially for social development and on the war on drugs,” per Seguerra.
“By providing this venue for young people to participate in governance, we are investing in the next generation of effective local and national leaders. With the SK, the state is telling young people that ‘you are not mere beneficiaries, you are our partners.'”