Solons laud signing of ‘antipolitical dynasty’ SK law | Inquirer News

Solons laud signing of ‘antipolitical dynasty’ SK law

/ 06:40 PM January 19, 2016

Authors in the House of Representatives have lauded the signing into law of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Act, which they see as a step toward stamping out political dynasties.

This is because the law, signed on Tuesday by President Benigno Aquino III, contains a provision prohibiting officials under the youth representation system to be related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent elected national official, or to any incumbent regional, provincial, city, municipal or barangay official, in the locality where the SK official hopes to be elected.

The law also increases the eligible age bracket for SK officials to 18 to 21 years old, from the current 15 to 17 years old.


Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez, one of the bill’s authors, said the signing into law of the SK reform bill “marks a major step forward in overhauling the SK, ushering in the necessary reforms to function effectively as vehicle for youth representation and participation in governance.”


Gutierrez added that the SK Reform Act was an “active step” in putting an end to the proliferation of political dynasty in the youth representation system.

“Furthermore, by adopting an antidynasty provision, it is an active effort to fix SK and rid it of the trappings of political dynasties and the old-style ‘trapo’ politics that has since hampered the system from fully fulfilling its mandate,” Gutierrez said.

‘Best place to begin’

For her part, another author, Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, said the antidynasty provision in the law was the first step in eliminating political clans.

“When it comes to preventing political dynasties from monopolizing power and resources in our communities, the best place to begin is in the SK,” Bag-ao said.

“Through this, we will be able to mold responsible leaders who rely on clear platforms to emerge victorious in elections, instead of depending on the clout given by family names,” she added.


Bag-ao said the provision of the law increasing the age bracket for SK officials would require them to be more mature in entering into contracts.

“When a young SK leader reaches this age bracket, she or he is able to enter into contracts that entail projects and programs for the youth of the barangay. Ang pagpirma sa kontrata para sa isang proyekto ay may kaakibat na responsibilidad—na alam mo ang pinapasok mo, naiintindihan mo ang nagpagkasunduan, at handa kang managot kapag may magawang mali,” Bag-ao said.

The law appropriates an SK fund, or 10 percent of the barangay general fund, solely for the disbursement of youth development and empowerment purposes.

It gives the SK financial independence in its operations, disbursements and encashment of income and expenditure, as long as the request for budget is supported with an SK resolution and a project proposal approved by the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Prone to corruption

The law also mandates trainings and seminars on leadership, program development and youth advocacy for the elected SK officials.

The Congress was given more time to reform the SK after President Aquino in 2013 signed a bill postponing the SK elections supposed to be held on Oct. 28 that year.

Aquino later signed into law a bill again rescheduling the SK elections supposed to be held in February 2015 to October 2016, simultaneous with the barangay elections for that year.

Congress had called for the postponement of the polls as it wanted more time to reform the SK, seen as prone to corruption upon the prodding of unscrupulous higher officials.

The SK was created in 1975 to give the youth a definite role in community affairs and to provide the government a means to tap the youth in its development efforts.

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According to the Local Government Code, the SK is composed of a chairperson, seven members, a secretary and treasurer. The SK chair and members have a term limit of three years. RC

TAGS: SK Reform Act

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