SK rues youth polls deferment-A A +A
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Sangguniang Kabataan Federation president and Councilor Brenden Kim Quintos is saddened over proceedings of Tuesday morning’s bicameral meeting.
The congressional bicameral conference committee on Tuesday approved a measure postponing this year's Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to a date between October 28, 2014 and February 23, 2015.
During the meeting, the committee also agreed no incumbent SK officials are allowed to continue to hold office once the election is cancelled this year, trashing proposals of a hold over as proposed by the Senate earlier.
"We are very sad because we have been fighting for SK reforms," Quintos lamented.
He said the vote is tantamount to the abolition of the SK stripping the youth of representation in government.
The postponement of the SK elections will leave the position of SK representative vacant in local councils for the term 2013 to 2014.
"We will have no youth voice as we will be forced to forfeit our seats in the council," the youth representative stressed.
Quintos has been advocating for reforms to update the mandate and strengthen the voice of the youth through the SK.
One of the reforms the SK is batting for is amending the age requirement of SK officers from 18 -21 instead of having under aged representatives to take seats as legislators.
Quintos said the reform will destroy the notions of corruption among the youth representatives as they will be allowed to handle directly the SK funds due to them and not be beholden to their respective barangays.
He said majority of the SK are also for a holdover of power of present SK representation to be able to seamlessly implement reforms needed for the youth sector.
Quintos said it would be very hard for the reforms to push through without a youth representative sitting as a legislator.
The latest update from the bicameral meeting reached Quintos during their regular session Tuesday morning.
As of press time, proceedings in Manila have recommended all incumbent SK officials not to remain in office after the expiration of their term on November 30.
There will also be no appointment for SK representatives while the 10 percent fund for next year will be used by the barangay for youth programs.
The proceedings are still awaiting ratification. If both the Senate and the Congress approve the recommendations President Aquino will give the final approval. However, if only one branch ratifies, discussions will still follow.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 25, 2013.