THE SANGGUNIANG Kabataan Federation (SKF) in Cebu City will make a last push to reform their organization rather than give in to calls to abolish it.

SKF president Rengelle Pelayo will call a special meeting with her members this week to finalize their plan.

She said they had a meeting a few months ago and suggestions came up on how to reform the SK organization to make it more effective.

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Pelayo said the time is ripe for SK reforms as she is supporting the bills that seek to postpone the SK and barangay elections to 2011 or 2012.

She said her members recommended that the age bracket be amended. They are also pushing for fiscal autonomy.

Age

The SKF president said there were suggestions to reinstate the original age bracket for the SK members as provided by Section 424 (15 to 21 years of age) of the Local Government Code.

From 15-21 years old, it was moved to 15-17 years old then as recommended by the Commission on Elections to avoid confusion in the registration for the barangay elections.

But in their last meeting, Pelayo said most of their members believe the 15-17 bracket is still too young to handle big responsibilities.

Pelayo believes there’s also a need to give the SK fiscal autonomy so that they can use their funds without interference.

“Karon man gud, daghan ang magbuot sa SK funds labi na sa paghimo ug budget appropriations, so, dili gyud ta ana ma-effective,” she said.

Once their recommendations are finalized, they will submit these to Rep. Rachel del Mar (Cebu City, north) and ask her to sponsor the SK Reform Bill.

Pelayo is hoping the SK and barangay elections slated this October will be postponed and the SK Reform Bill will be re-passed in Congress.

Solution

“Dili tukma nga mag-eleksyon na ta karong October nga wala pa gani mahatagan ug solution ang problema, maka-expect gyod ta ana ug the same mistakes, the same ineffectiveness sa atong SK officials,” Pelayo said.

Pelayo said it’s not a good idea to abolish the SK elections or let the mayors appoint its officials.

It was Vice President Jejomar Binay, who proposed the abolition of SK elections, and suggested that the power to appoint those officials be given to the mayor.

The vice president believes that with his proposal, the mayor can get the full support for programs and projects in the barangays aside from saving the government millions of pesos.

But Pelayo said their members want the lawmakers “to reform their organization and not to experiment a system.”