Sen. Bam Urges SK Elex Postponement “With Reforms”

Following a Senate hearing of the Committee on Local Government, which tackled the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, Senator Bam Aquino called for the urgent postponement of the SK elections but clarified that he was also pushing for reforms in the system.

Members of the committee, chaired by Senator Bongbong Marcos, had reached a consensus regarding the postponement of the SK elections. The matter has yet to be tackled by the Senate as a body during a plenary session. For the postponement to take effect, a law would have to be passed by Congress and signed by the President.

The synchronized Barangay and SK elections is originally set for October 28, 2013. Ballots are set to be printed on Wednesday, September 4, 2013.

“Let’s not subject our youth leaders to the currently flawed system. We owe it to them to fast-track the reforms at the soonest possible time,” Aquino said. “We agree with the postponement, but this should be done in line with SK reforms.”

A former chairperson of the National Youth Commission (NYC) and currently the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Youth, Aquino in July filed Senate Bill No. 1090, otherwise known as the “Liga ng Bayaning Kabataan (LBK) Bill,” It overhauls the youth representation system and aims to “[return] to the true spirit of volunteerism… taking youth participation away from the clutches of partisan politics.”

It replaces the current form of the SK with a body composed of representatives of youth organizations. It also calls for “bottom-up budgeting” and “‘end-to-end’ transparency, accountability, good governance, and community youth participation for all LBK projects.”

“It is anchored on the twin beliefs that youth organizations are a potent force in nation-building, and that the power of young Filipinos is strongest when they work with people who share their values and goals, and in an environment of teamwork and collaboration,” Aquino pointed out.

The senator also wrote in the LBK Bill: “[This represents] a departure from our current system of youth representation and governance. [The proposed measures] also represent new ways of thinking, coupled with the belief that young Filipinos will embrace these reforms for the sake of genuine change and progress.”

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