Unlamented fate of the SK-A A +A
Sunday, September 29, 2013
SANGGUNIANG Kabataan (SK) or youth council election is likely to be postponed until late 2014 or early 2015. That is proposed in a bill approved by both houses of Congress, which President Aquino may sign into law.
Putting off the election doesn’t amount to killing SK but time given to study the system and public apathy towards it can lead to its death.
Apparent for now are these:
-- It has been used by political clans to train their young to become full-pledged politicians;
-- Meddling by political families has introduced illegal or unethical campaign gimmicks used by adult politicos, including the notorious election-eve parties to hold hostage the voters;
-- The number of participants doesn’t represent majority of the youth in the barangay; a small number, easy to manipulate, produces farcical results;
-- SK officials are noted for long absences from council meetings since they are schooling or holding private jobs elsewhere; failure of many SKs to function regularly questions its usefulness;
-- Many SK officials over-age while in office and hold over until the next council elections; right to represent the sector becomes dubious;
-- Taking cue from older politicians, many SK officials are tempted or misled to abuse public funds.
More complaints may surface as Congress reinvents the youth council. Other options may be adopted: a youth commission with clear standards of accountability or putting youth leaders in legislative councils and boards.
What has become increasingly clear is that few among us will lament SK’s exit.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 30, 2013.