MANILA, Philippines – Why not just abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK)?
This was the response of some netizens following the decision of the Senate local government committee to postpone the SK polls on October 28 to pave the way for widespread reforms of the youth council.
Committee Chairman Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr sought to explain the decision as he delivered the committee report to the Senate plenary on Wednesday, September 4.
The SK is the 7-member youth council based in barangays. Their members, 15 to 17 years old, traditionally elect their officials during barangay elections. The SK’s predecessor called the Kabataang Barangay was created during the presidency of Marcos’ father, the late Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The SK polls were initially set to coincide with the barangay elections in October.
Here are the reasons the Senate panel is pushing for a one-year postponement of the SK elections:
Marcos said the unanimous opinion of the committee is to reform and restructure the SK. The following are the reforms envisioned:
Within a year, Marcos said Congress will work on the SK reform bill so that the country can hold elections immediately after.
Marcos urged the Senate to act swiftly on his proposal because the Commission on Elections is already in the final stages of preparation for the October polls.
During the interpellations, Marcos said there were many issues about the SK that need to be addressed including the age range, and transparency in the use of funds.
The senator said that in other countries, youth leaders are as old as 35 while in the SK, leaders as young as 17 are elected.
“Another issue is whether or not we need an SK council per barangay. Maybe we just need one SK representative per barangay,” he said.
Besides Marcos, the senators who supported the postponement of the SK polls are Bam Aquino, JV Ejercito, and Sen Francis Escudero.
What are your thoughts on the SK? Let us know in the comments section below. – Rappler.com