Sen. Bam: Level playing field for promising youth leaders in new SK

The May 14 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election provides promising young leaders a level playing field through the anti-dynasty provision of the SK Reform Act, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.

“Sa ilalim ng bagong SK Reform Act, lahat ay mabibigyan ng pagkakataong manilbihan, lalo pa’t maipatutupad na sa unang pagkakataon ang probisyon kontra political dynasty, said Sen. Bam in a radio interview on Friday, the last day for youth leaders to file their COCs in Comelec offices.

Co-sponsored and co-authored by Sen. Bam during his term as chairman of the Committee on Youth in the 16th Congress, Republic Act 10742 or the SK Reform Act is the first law in the country with an anti-political dynasty provision. It prohibits relatives of elected officials up to 2nd civil degree of consanguinity or affinity from seeking SK posts.

In past SK elections, Sen. Bam said the usual winners were related to incumbent local officials, like mayor, vice mayor, councilors, barangay captains and barangay councilors.

“Ngayon, mabibigyan na ng patas na pagkakataon ang lahat na makapagsilbi sa bayan, kahit wala siyang impluwensiya o kamag-anak na nakaupo sa posisyon,” Sen. Bam stressed.

The law adjusts the age limit for 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.

The SK Reform Act also requires SK officials 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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