With the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections slated to push through as scheduled, Sen. Bam Aquino urged voters to choose the right leaders who will lead and protect their communities.
“Tuloy na tuloy na ang barangay at Sangguniang Kabataan elections,” Sen. Bam said in a radio interview, despite the passage of a House measure calling for the postponement of the village polls on third and final reading.
“Walang ipapasa na postponement sa Senado. Wala nang makapipigil pa sa halalan sa Mayo 14,” stressed Sen. Bam, adding that the people should be given a chance to choose their next community leaders.
At the same time, the senator called on the public to choose their next leaders wisely, saying they should elect morally upright candidates and not those who are involved in illegal activities.
“Piliin natin ang mga pinunong lalaban para sa komunidad, malinis, tapat at walang kinalaman sa anumang krimen,” said Sen. Bam. “Piliin natin ang pinuno na sisiguraduhing ligtas ang ating mga komunidad sa mga krimen at pang aabuso ng mga nasa kapangyarihan.”
The upcoming village polls will mark the first implementation of Republic Act 10742 or the SK Reform Act, the first law in the country that has an anti-political dynasty provision.
“Pagkakataon rin ito para makita natin kung epektibo ang SK Reform Act at kung makatutugon ito sa pangangailangan ng kabataan,” said Sen. Bam, who pushed for its passage as co-author and co-sponsor during his time as chairman of the Committee on Youth in the 16th Congress.
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.