It is enshrined in Section 13, Article II of the Philippine Constitution that “[T]he State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation

-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social wellbeing. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.” In response to this constitutional provision the Congress in 1991, created the SK-Youth Council or Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) for the purpose of introducing the young people to government service in local, provincial, and national levels. Nevertheless, after sixteen (16) years of existence, many have been seriously skeptic on the importance of SK, that even President Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo herself once said "I think it's a good idea," “Scrap that Useless Thing,” since much resources and energy were given but no result had been fulfilled. There were numerous attempts to abolish the SK, in 2002 Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Benjamin Abalos himself wanted to abolish the SK because according to him “it is doing more harm than good” instead of harnessing their ideals by involving youths in their communities, “exposing them to politics at such an early age only corrupts them.” The issue even reached the Plenary of the 13th Congress, when Representative Gilbert Remulla filled House Bill No. 185 which tended to abolish the SK. Now, as the 2007 Barangay and SK synchronized election is coming the call for the abolition of SK is resurrected, the League of City Mayors of the Philippines (LCMP) have agreed the Sangguniang Kabataan should be abolished, saying SK officials could not divide their time between schoolwork and responsibilities in the SK, according to a top official of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines. “The mayors do not openly speak [about the issue] because of political reasons, but they are for the abolition of the SK,” Mayor Ramon Guico, LMP president, said. Even the country’s student governments want the abolition of the “non-performing” SK. They announced in their manifesto that they would launch a letter-writing campaign. Benralph Yu, president of the Region XI Federation of Student Governments, said student councils are better equipped to represent the country’s youth than the SK, that they could begin community work to make up for the vacuum opened if the SK is abolished. They viewed SK officials now as the “BIMPO,” stands for “Batang Inudyukan ng Magulang sa POlitika” or “Ang Anak ng TRAPO.” However, we believe that despite of the many flaws of the present structure of the SK, it is one of the most relevant youth participation in building a strong Nation, hence, we would like to propose the following for possible amendments to certain provisions of Republic Act No. 7160 (R.A. 9184) as known as the Local Government Code, Book III, Chapter 8 – Sangguniang Kabataan: 1. Increase age bracket of the Katipunang Kabataan (KK) from 15 to 17 to 15-21 and age qualification bracket of SK officials to 18-21, amending Sections 424 and 248 therein. We believe that SK officials should have juridical capacity as provided in Civil Code, which is the fitness to be the subject of legal relations x x x [the] capacity to act, which is the power to do acts with legal effects, and this can be acquired once majority commences at the age of eighteen (18) years; 2. Give some degree of fiscal autonomy to the SK like those granted in other Local Government Units in order that the youth councils won’t be beholden or won’t be used for partisan activities by the barangay elders and the mayors. This fiscal autonomy will entail legislation for the SK’s share in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to be released directly to the youth councils; 3. Increase relevant trainings of the SK which focuses on their functions as SK officials, this can be done through coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Youth Commission (NYC), Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), National Sports Commission (NSC), and other National Government Agencies, Local Government Units (LGUs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs); 4. Provide for provisions that will depoliticize the SK, as proposed by AKBAYAN Party-List Representative Ana Theresia Hontiveros – Baraquel in her House Bill No. 959, introducing the Anti-Dynasty provision as stated in Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution to avoid corruption and patronage, and 5. Support the recommendations made by the study conducted by the UP group entitled as “Study on the Impact of the Youth participation in the Local Development Process: The Sangguniang Kabataan Experience.”

The youth representatives will be elected. he said the tendency of the mayor or governor is to make partisan choices.ABOLITION OF SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN SOUGHT Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Nene" Q. a resident of the barangay for at least one year and he is not more than 18 years of age at the time of his filing of certificate of candidacy or election. replacing the Kabataang Barangay which was established through a Marcos decree during the martial law era. 2007 barangay ad SK synchronized election shall continue to hold office for the duration of the term to which they were elected. the SK will be dissolved but the youth will continue to be represented in the sangguniang bayan. Pimentel said he did not agree with the proposal because he believes that the youth of the local communities should decide on who should represent them in the sanggunian in keeping with the democratic system. He also observed that appointive officials to any legislative body tend to lose their independence and be beholden to the appointing authority. like other local government officials. Jr. There was a proposal from some legislators and local government leaders to make the youth representative in the sanggunian an appointive position and to authorize the mayor or governor to appoint such official. Besides. Senate Bill 2155 provides that "in addition to the other qualifications required of candidates to the sanggunian (council). Pimentel said the organization has exposed the youth leaders to situations that make them susceptible to dishonest or corrupt practices specially in handling funds that are entrusted to them for projects and activities that will enhance the welfare of their constituents. he said. no person shall be elected as the youth representative in every sanggunian unless he is a Filipino citizen." Pimentel said. during the regular local elections held every three years. The SK was created under the Local Government Code of 1991. (PDP-Laban) today proposed the abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan in view of the general observation that it has lost its usefulness as a mechanism for getting the youth involved in community development. Pimentel said the prevailing sentiment in local communities is that the SK officials have neglected their duties because they are preoccupied with other things although they continue to receive remuneration. is when the absentee SK officials continue to receive government allowances even if they are unable to discharge their duties and deliver services that are expected of them. sangguniang panlunsod and sangguniang panlalawigan. Pimentel. . "The youth representatives in the local councils shall be the voice of the young people in the policy-making bodies of the local government. the SK was envisioned to be a training ground for youth leaders and a layer of government that will attend to the needs and problems of the youth and harness them in community development activities. SK chairmen and officials are not found in their barangay because they have to stay elsewhere to pursue their college education. Like the KB. Under Senate Bill 2155 he just filed." It also provides that SK officers who were duly elected in the October. They will ensure the youth's vital participation in public and civic affairs in their respective communities. Pimentel said one of the strongest argument for scrapping the SK is that more often than not. What is worse. Explaining why the continued existence of the SK has become untenable.

SC urged to abolish Presidential Electoral Tribunal MANILA. academic experts in the field of local governance and leaders of the youth and other sectors concerned. said the creation of the PET is actually a redundancy since the government would have to spend an additional P20 million to P25 million everytime the PET is convened. would be addressed as "Mr. I believe the SC should be resolving all these cases and not any other tribunal. which appears to be a quasi-judicial tribunal whose decision is appealable to the Supreme Court. Philippines . . In some provinces and cities. and qualifications of the president or vice-president. Macalintal said there is no provision in the 1987 Constitution that authorizes the Supreme Court to convene a separate tribunal that would handle all contests relating to the "election. which is composed of the same members composing the tribunal. Macalintal. Member." "For me. nothing that some political parties could mention the matter in case an electoral protest is filed after the May 10 elections." "The law is very clear that it is the SC sitting en banc which shall decide cases involving contests between presidential and vice-presidential candidates and that there is no need for the SC to create another tribunal." he said in an ANC interview. He also said he found it "absurd" that the Chief Justice would be addressed as "Mr. it seems to be a diminution of their title. the governors or mayors whose children or other relatives are the SK chairmen in their localities were the ones who were very vocal in saying that the SK has outlived its usefulness and should be abolished. election authorities. who is President Arroyo's election lawyer. Macalintal said he asked the Supreme Court to resolve the matter with dispatch. In his petition. perhaps the parties could raise that issue in the Supreme Court.Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Monday urged the Supreme Court to abolish the creation of a Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) that would resolve electoral protests involving presidential and vice-presidential candidates. who are also SC justices. and that members of the PET. returns. "If it is not resolved. Chairman" during a PET hearing.The bill on the abolition of the SK was crafted by Pimentel after a series of consultations with local government officials. Where will we file it? Will we file it before the Supreme Court as a Supreme Court or as a Presidential Electoral Tribunal?" he asked." he said.

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