TO abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) is not to deny the youth their role in the country’s future. First of all, the SK is not the only venue for youth involvement.

Secondly, the SK has so far not done anything to improve our chances for a better future. A planned seminar in Boracay has “junket” written all over it, the latest of many signs that the SK has instead succumbed to the lure of traditional politics.

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Historically, the SK sprang from the Kabataang Barangay (KB), a youth group organized by the late dictator to counter the life-changing moves of a left-leaning youth group, the Kabataang Makabayan (KM). It was originally a reactionary group designed to maintain the status quo, namely, Martial Law and the geopolitics that underpinned it.

After Martial Law, the KB gave way to the Katipunan ng mga Kabataan (KK), a youth council designed to provide the youth with a venue for participation in all aspects of barangay life.

But who has heard of the KK now? People are more familiar with the SK, which is what is left of the KK after traditional politicians exploited the opportunity of providing the financial wind beneath the SK’s wings.

Under the tutelage and financial support of trapos, the SK soon got hooked on traditional politics and just as quickly morphed into the youth arm of corrupt politicians, a training ground for the sons, daughters and wards of political dynasty builders. This ugly scene is hardly the harbinger of a bright future for this country.

Instead of leading the charge against corruption in government, SK leaders and members learned the art and skills needed to practice the dubious brand of politics of their mentors, the trapos. Instead of evolving into a higher species of political animals, they have become, as Ben Oplas (of Minimal Government NGO) would correctly put it, “baby political dinosaurs.”

The KK, meanwhile, has gone down the road to oblivion.

Traditional politicians do not want change and so do not want the KK, the more relevant umbrella youth organization, to survive except for one wing of it, the SK which they find useful for their political ambitions.

The youth cannot be just any future of this country. They have to be a distinctively better future and not the inevitable aftermath of our nightmarish present. To do this, they must escape from the trapos’ tutelage, spread out from politics and bring fresh and refreshing ideas into economics, culture and all other aspects of our national life.

For having fallen into the trapos’ tender trap, the SK never became an agent of change. Instead, it has become the provision for continuity of an animal species that might be given the scientific name of Politicus Dynosaurus. It’s time this species becomes extinct too.