Youth coalition launches signature campaign

THE Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Coalition launched yesterday a signature campaign supporting a bill that seeks to address issues concerning the selection and tenure of the country’s youth leaders.

The signature campaign urges Congress to approve the SK Reform and Empowerment Bill.

John Philip Po of the SK Reform Coalition said they hoped to gather 1,000 signatures yesterday.

The coalition and the National Youth Commission (NYC) hope that Congress would approve the bill so that an SK election would be held next year.

Last October, President Aquino signed Republic Act 10632 postponing the SK elections last Oct. 28, 2013. The law provides that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) may pick the date of the SK election between Oct. 28, 2014 and Feb. 23, 2015.

In a press conference yesterday, former NYC-Visayas Commissioner Erwin Andaya said NYC hopes that the bill would be approved soon so that the SK election would be conducted during the summer school break.

Senate version

Andaya said the SK reform bill in the Senate is in second reading.

He said the NYC attended six technical working group meetings in the Senate to discuss the bill.

Andaya said NYC drafted another version of the SK Reform Bill and called it Local Youth Development and Empowerment Act.

The NYC is proposing that those who run for SK chairman be 18 to 24 years of age so they would be more mature.

The NYC is also proposing fiscal autonomy, mechanisms for transparency and accountability, and an anti-political dynasty clause. To avoid dynasties, NYC is suggesting that no relative up to the fourth civil degree of an incumbent elective official can run for SK election.

The SK Reform and Empowerment Bill seeks for the abolition of the SK Federation and proposes the establishment of the Local Youth Development Council.

Andaya said NYC also wants the SK elections to be held separate from the barangay and the national elections.

Ang binuhatan sa barangay elections, mahimo sad sa SK elections kay kadungan man sila (Irregularities that may occur during the barangay elections may be associated with the SK if the two polls are conducted simultaneously),” he said.
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