AS A former youth official, Bacolod City Councilor Caesar Distrito expressed his vehement opposition to the proposed abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) as youth representatives in all levels of local legislative bodies.

Instead, he urged the House of Representatives and the Senate to strengthen the youth organization by increasing their age bracket for greater participation of a larger sector of the youth.

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The youth comprises more than 30 percent of the population, thus there is a need for them to be represented in every local legislative body, Distrito stated.

The main purpose of the creation of the SK is to be able to train the youth as future leaders in government, and a lot of them now are either serving as local elected officials or as the government service employees.

The SK, with all its infirmities and limitations, had also a lot of contributions in the social and political changes that happened in our country, said Distrito.

The city councilor pointed out that the SK registrants even posted a higher number than the regular voter registrants numbering to 5,456, thus showing the higher interest of our youth to participate and practice their democratic right of suffrage and representation.

“Abolishing the SK will be tantamount to disenfranchising the 5,456 youth registrants and denying them their basic right of choosing their leaders and be represented,” Distrito stressed.

The seven councilors of the SK are just volunteers. They earn nothing in their service to lead and serve as the voice of the youth in their community. Why restrict them in their offer of free service to their constituents, rhetorically asked Distrito.

It is exactly this kind of volunteerism, which we are trying to advocate, he added.