MANILA -- A youth group has asked the government to soften its stand in abolishing the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) while urging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend the registration for the upcoming SK elections.

Marlon Cornelio, Akbayan Youth secretary-general, hit the Aquino administration for lack of consultation as well as using a “flawed assumption” in dealing with the problems surrounding the SK.

“We are confronted with the fact that the government did not set consultations regarding the abolition of SK. They should have consulted the youth sector and listen to their views,” he told Sun.Star.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo proposed for the repeal of Section 423 to 439 of the Local Government Code that will in effect totally abolish the Katipunan ng Kabataan or the SK.

Robredo also batted for the amendment of Section 387 (a) and 390 of the same law to include a youth representative in the barangay who shall be elected at large by the youth aged 15 years old but less than 18 years old during the barangay elections.

“The youth will now have a direct voice in the barangay unlike before when they only sit as an ex-officio member of the barangay council,” he said.

Allegations of corruption and inefficiency hobbled the SK for years which prompted even LGU code author former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. to push for its abolition in the past congresses.

The same proposed measure said the government will save at least P3.5 billion on election expenses but the youth group found the cost-cutting plan unacceptable.

“If the government wants to really save its resources, then they should train their guns on the State’s inefficient tax collection, burdensome debt payments and unwarranted spending of some government agencies,” said Cornelio. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)