You are on page 1of 2

July 24, 2007

The Background

The upcoming SK elections has encouraged a number of new young voters to register
so they could exercise their right of suffrage. Since 1992, the SK elections have been
truly training grounds for nasty electoral processes. No one can dispute the fact that it
has been used as extension of the dirty politics of the local politicos. The precursor of
SK is of course the Kabataang Barangay (KB) of Marcos. Under the Local
Government Code of 1991 primarily authored by Nene Pimentel, a staunch nemesis
of Marcos, the SK was nothing but an institutionalized KB.

The Arguments Against SK

I will focus my arguments against SK on the following grounds:

1. It is not necessary;
2. It is not beneficial; and,
3. It is not practical.

Necessity of SK: Do we need the SK for youth empowerment?

The SK is supposed to be the training ground for future leaders. The framers of the
1991 Local Government Code thought that the SK would be an excellent avenue for
creating better leaders. I would say that it is not necessary for a leader to be in SK to
be a good leader. It does not follow, or it is non sequitor, that once you are involved in
SK that you become a better leader. Leadership training is available in far better
settings like in schools, churches, or other institutions other than the government like
scouting. The idea that our youth are not getting enough leadership training because
there is no organization like the SK is simply hilarious.

Another reason why the SK was instituted is the fact (or I would say the myth) that it
could "initiate policies, programs, or projects for the development of the youth in their
respective political territories." It is so good as a sound byte or as an oratorical piece
but never as a blueprint for reality. The real world says that it is the local political
warlords or barangay chieftains that dictate whatever programs the SK can have to
benefit them and not to benefit the youth in the area of their responsibility. More often
than not, SK projects are limited to signs, basketball courts, lamp posts, flowering
pots, and the like. They simply mimic what their elders can do and do not venture into
projects that would truly benefit the youth.

Are there reading centers or mini-libraries in their barangays? Nope. That won't be
popular. Are there literacy or tutorial programs to benefit the disadvantaged? Nope.
That won't be politically sound. Are there citizenship or civic training so young people
could become better citizens? Nope. That won't be well attended. Are there tie-ups
with the TESDA and other government institutions for technical or vocational training
for young people? Nope. That would be too serious. If what the SK can do is to
display in a barangay sign the names of the chairman, kagawads, secretary, and
treasurer, then definitely there is no need to have an SK. The barangay council could
do what they could do.

Beneficiality of SK: Does our youth benefit from SK?

Qui bono? Who benefits from having SK? The youth? To some extent yes but that
answer should be qualified. Yes, the youth who are elected into the SK would reap the

SK receives a 10% apportionment from the barangay budget. The SK chairman who is elected. billions of pesos coming from scarce government resources have been spent to cover for the elections of SKs in practically all barangays in the Philippines. not beneficial to the youth. the government should focus on strengthening the public elementary and high schools so it could produce better leaders than what we currently have. To say the least. through the help of the politicos. it benefits those in power but not their constituents. whether urban or rural. SK officials receive remuneration for attending SK sessions from barangay funds. to become president of the municipal/city/provincial federation sits as an ex-officio member of the municipal/city/provincial council/board with all the perks and powers of a regular member of the said council/board. Qui bono? The selected few reaps the manna from the 1991 Local Government Code while the rest of the youth in their respective barangays are left in the dark. the 15-year SK experiment should have galvanized noble members of congress to abolish the SK because it is simply not living up to its expectations. they spend their share for their pet projects that are not necessary.rewards but not the youth in general. In a way. A government run by cheats and incompetents is not a good model for training future leaders. the fair hope of the motherland. Abolish SK! Strengthen the public schools! . With that. the spirit of the law to have the youth benefit from the SK will never materialize. it is not cheap to elect SK officials and keep their perks. The upcoming synchronized SK and barangay elections would cost 3 billion pesos. In the end. Politicians finance the election of their wards in the hope that the wards will deliver the votes or resources in the future when the need arises. Only a few will benefit from the system while the majority will never be able to enjoy the very purpose of the creation of SK which is to bring good programs and projects for the youth. Another bunch of unscrupulous people that will benefit from the SK are the local politicos who will have a new network of political operatives from among the SK people. In closing. Practicality of SK: Is it cheap to have SK? Since 1992. It has failed miserably. The SK. must have made a big blunder when he inserted the provisions on SK. though apolitical by creation of law like the barangay. and simply a drain to the coffers of the government. Nene Pimentel. is simply a front of contending politicos. Why? An SK kagawad or chairman receives honoraria for attending SK sessions. principal author of the 1991 Local Government Code. Instead of spending billions of pesos to run these mock youth councils.

Related Interests