Youth groups support SK reforms

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Youth groups are batting for reforms to the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) rather than its abolition.

Jason Balag-ey, National Youth Commission-Baguio chairperson, is backing House Bill 468 known as “The Sangguniang Kabataan reform and empowerment act of 2009,” filed in the House of Representatives.

Balag-ey said the SK of Baguio and Benguet need “fiscal autonomy,” because some of them are not in good terms with their village heads. Some are being compelled to allot their budget to infrastructure or hard projects, which was supposed to be the initiative of the chieftains to get funding from the congressman.

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Balag–ey said if the reforms in the makeup of the SK are made, there will be reform and youth empowerment.

“SK needs serious attention. The serious reforms focus on age bracket and fiscal autonomy. The age bracket will involve 100 percent attention in leadership; time and pressure among your studies and service will not anymore the problem,” Balag-ey added.

Balag–ey said Baguio and Benguet have done their mandate as respective youth leaders; however, the provisions on the resolution adopted in the 9th National Youth Leaders Forum will surely empower the youth more on leadership.

The National Youth Commission (NYC) believes in the untapped potential of the SK and it just needs to be reformed, as per NYC Chairperson Leon Flores during the State of Youth address last May 3, 2012 during the 9th National Youth Parliament in Hotel Avenue, Naga City.

The NYC believes the Sangguniang Kabataan’s low performance and the overwhelming complaints against them, such as fostering corruption and irrelevance, are just reflections of the versions of reality of mainstream politics.

Among the reforms recommended is to create the SK Online Academy – a peer-to-peer online website manage by the NYC and the SK-National Federation exhibiting best practices, experiences, documents, papers and issuances of NGAs, NGOs, SK, youth groups, and other organizations.

House Bill 468, which was filed in Congress, was introduced by Akbayan party-list representatives.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 09, 2013.

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