NAGA CITY, Oct 8 – The National Youth Commission (NYC), as the voice and advocate of the youth, pushed for the postponement of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls given that holding elections now would be a disservice to a new batch of young people who will be subjected to a system in dire need of reforms.
The Lower House version pushed for a 3-year deferment with no hold over, thereby would have created a vacuum of youth participation. The Senate version approved postponement to 2014 with the incumbents allowed a hold over. The appro ved version of the bicameral panel looked to be the most viable middle ground and is a welcome prelude to the REFORM of the SK.
Whether Congress approves the SK Reform bill or not, elections will still be held anytime between 28 October 2014 and 23 February 2015 thereby giving Congress a natural deadline for the passage of a law that would massively address the iniquities and structural limitations of the SK as an institution. Failure to approve an SK Reform Law would have put this postponement to naught.
The NYC is saddened over the decision of the bicameral to leave the posts of the SK vacant until the said deferment. Such ‘suspension’ has practically stripped young people of their right to participate and be represented in state affairs actively and institutionally.
We are consoled over the decision of the bicam panel to still ensure the allocation of the supposed 10% SK funds solely for youth development programs albeit under the administration of the Sangguniang Barangay. We call on youth and student leaders, former SKs and reform champions to be vigilant and monitor the judicious and appropriate use of this fund for young people.
We endeavor to work closely and enthusiastically with both chambers of Congress to speedily enact an SK Reform Law that would be responsive to the needs of the youth constituency. By increasing the age of participation in the SK from 15-27 years old to 15-25 years old, providing term limit, creating internal controls and audit mechanisms, instituting a fiscal autonomy and enforcing anti-political dynasty rule; the SK will be more empowered.” says Chairman Leon Flores III.
NYC believes that this postponement is a penultimate step towards the end-goal of reforming the SK to be the expression of active citizenship and embodiment of the idealism of young Filipinos.
The NYC underscores the importance of reforming the SK as a legitimate venue for the young Filipinos’ political involvement. Ultimately, it aims to fulfill the very spirit of Article 2, Section 13 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution encouraging youth involvement in public and civic affairs thereby promoting the well-being of the young and inculcating in them patriotism and nationalism. ### (PIA-5/Sorsogon)
REF: USEC. LEON G. FLORES
Chairman and CEO, NYC
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