SEN. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. favors the postponement of the barangay elections in October, but disagrees with some Malacañang officials that the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) should be abolished.
Instead, such proposals need to be carefully studied, along with plans to reorganize or reform the SK, he said.
Congressional hearings on the matter will start today.
“I think there’s a good case to be made for the postponement [of the barangay elections]. One of the reasons that I think maybe we should think about postponing is that we have to decide what to do first with the SK,” he said in a press conference in Cebu City yesterday.
It was his father, the late president Ferdinand Marcos, who created a youth political organization, the Kabataang Barangay, which evolved into the SK.
“I’ve always said that it’s necessary that the young demographic of our population be represented. Although, I do recognize that the SK as it stands now has not been a total success,” he said.
Vice President Jejomar Binay earlier proposed the abolition of the SK, saying mayors should instead be given the power to appoint representatives from the youth sector.
“I understand the disaffection that some people may have with the way the SK has been functioning. And even the young people are a little bit disappointed that the representation the SK has provided is not what they have hoped for. Definitely, we
need to rethink the system for the youth representation at the barangay level and to see if we need to restructure the SK,” Marcos said.
But he believes there should be youth representation in government.
The senator, who served as a judge in last Saturday’s Pasigarbo sa Sugbo competition, said youth representation should be upheld in “whatever fashion.”
“Perhaps the SK as an organization will be abolished so that maybe we will not hear about the Sanggunian Kabataan anymore, but I think it is absolutely imperative that we put a youth representative either by appointment or by election,” he said.
The system of SK, he added, is to be blamed and not the youth. Although the law says 10 percent of the barangay budget should be appropriated for the SK, the council often ends up receiving less.
“These are the problems that we have to hammer out. And, in my view, the more practical and simple solution is that ayusin muna natin yong diskusyon tungo sa SK and then pag-alam na natin ang gagawin (we sort out what to do with the SK and then) let’s have the barangay elections,” he said.
In the hearings, they will be asking local officials what needs to be addressed as far as the youth federation is concerned.
“Government is not only about corruption,” he said, explaining that if the youth enter politics, corruption is not the only aspect they will experience. There is also the essence of public service.
The youth political organization created in the Marcos years was the Kabataang Barangay, in part to counter a growing militant youth organization.
It was abolished during the term of president Corazon Aquino and the Katipunan ng Kabataan, which was later renamed the SK, was formed.
Aquino’s son, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III now wants the SK abolished to save on costs. (RSB/JGA)