Bam: SK abolition ‘premature’

A senator described as premature plans to abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), stressing that improvements in the SK Reform Act must be given a chance to be implemented so its success can be gauged.

“It is premature to abolish the SK before we have a chance to implement the improvements in the SK Reform Act and gauge its success,” said Sen. Bam, who worked for passage of Republic Act No. 10742 or the SK Reform Act as co-author and co-sponsor in the 16th Congress.

 “Let’s have a little more faith in the Filipino youth and their ability to contribute to their communities,” the senator added, saying “they might even surprise us with innovative solutions to critical issues, like hunger or drug use.”

 Aside from rejecting calls for SK abolition, Sen. Bam also rebuffed moves to postpone the SK elections for two years.

 “It is unacceptable. At most, we can postpone elections for a few months to give the Commission on Elections (Comelec) time for better preparation and recruitment of more voters and candidates,” said Sen. Bam.

 The first legislation with an anti-dynasty provision, the SK Reform Act prohibits relatives of elected officials up to 2nd civil degree of consanguinity or affinity from seeking SK posts.

 In addition, the law adjusts age limit of SK officials from 15-17 to 18-24 years old, making them legally capable of entering into contracts and be held accountable and liable for their actions.

 Furthermore, Sangguniang Kabataan officials will now be required to undergo leadership training programs to expose them to the best practices in governance and guide their development as leaders.

 The new law also mandates the creation of the Local Youth Development Council (LYDC), a council that will support the SK and ensure the participation of more youth through youth organizations.

 The LYDC will be composed of representatives from the different youth organizations in the community – student councils, church and youth faith groups, youth-serving organizations, and community-based youth groups.

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