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Published on Thursday, 04 July 2013 19:56
Written by Mia M. Gonzalez
SEVERAL senators have expressed opposition to the proposed abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) as they said it would rob the youth of representation in local government.
The senators instead offered improvements to the law that seeks to “overhaul” the body.
Sen. Francis Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, said the proposed SK abolition presented a “double standard” since the Commission on Elections (Comelec) supported it. The youth council had allegedly become a breeding ground for political dynasties.
“That is a double standard. If that is the case, then they should also push for the abolition of the House and the Senate,” Escudero said.
Instead of abolishing the SK, the law creating it should instead be improved, he said.
“We should improve on the SK law and rationalize their use of the more than P20 billion per year that pass through them,” he said.
Sen. Paolo “Bam” Benigno Aquino, a former National Youth Commission (NYC) chairman, said a “major overhaul” of the SK would serve the country better than abolishing it.
“I am among those who wish to reform it, and not abolish it. I think it’s already high time that we really look at the cases of the Sangguniang Kabataan in the past years, the areas where there was minimal success, and where reforms are needed. For me, a major overhaul is necessary,” Aquino said.
When asked, the senator said among the “many” flaws of the SK is its form, which is “not created for success.”
He said the decision to lower the age range of SK officials to 15 to 17 years old from 15 to 21 effectively “took off one of the legs of the SK” because there are a lot of active 18- to 21-year-old youth “robbed of a chance to help and participate in the SK.”
He also cited the problem in the flow of funds in the SK, and the “unclear relationship” between the SK and the NYC where the SK national president sits as a commissioner but is “not duty-bound to follow NYC policies.”
“I don’t want the youth to lose its representation at the local level,” Aquino said.
Read the original: Senators buck abolition of SK – Business Mirror
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