Pokus: On the abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan

August 30, 2010 in columns, Featured, opinion by editors

By ALMA SINUMLAG
www.nordis.net

As the world celebrated the International Youth Day that the United Nations (UN) declared every August 12, President Aquino called for the abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) on the purpose of saving costs. Reactions of several youth organizations led by the Kabataan Partylist ensued. They see this issue as depriving the youth of participation in nation building.

Instead of abolishing the SK, Kabataan Representative Raymond Palatino filed House Bill 1963 , or the SK Reform Bill, proposing to reform and strengthen the SK system.

Meanwhile, SK Federation President of Baguio City, Gloria Ysabel De Vera in her priveledge speech during the city council session on August 16 suggested strengthening the SK system. She added that abolishing the SK means eliminating an efficient training ground for leadership, for value formation and for healthy attitude towards good governance.

However, some youths do agree with the abolition since the previous SK officials did not really perform their tasks as councilors of the youth in their areas. They have insignificant contribution to the community. Most of their projects are building waiting sheds and singnages, and sportsfest. They believe that SK is just a breeding ground for corrupt officials in the future.

Reshalyn Cammayo, 21 years old and presently residing in Tuguegarao City: “No! I am not in favor of abolishing the SK. Mawawalan ng boses ang kabataan. In fact this is their training ground for politics. I’d rather go for reform.”

Rex Bate, 20 years old of Baguio City: “Of course I’m not for the abolition. SK talks about leadership and this is the best venue for the youth to develop their sense of leadership, their personality, as well as their social responsibility.”

Shiela Marie Cabrera, 21 years old, Baguio City: “Before, I agree with the abolition because they cannot execute their tasks like the way they should. I cannot see any good changes on the issue of youths having bad vices, it is even worse now. But I realized that the youth should be given a chance. The SK system should be strengthened because there are a lot of seminars on youth issues such as early pregnancy and harmful effects of drugs that should be conducted through the leadership of these youth councilors.”

Audrey Corce of Benguet State Univesity (BSU): “Sa tingin ko huwag muna i-abolish.Ang kailangan lang ay bumuo ng body or something like that na ang objective ay bantayan ang mga processes na nangyayari sa SK. Ang problema kasi ngayon sa SK eh walang “watchdog” na nagbabantay sa galaw ng mga officials kaya maraming himala na nangyayari.” (I think they should not abolish it yet. A body should be formed to act as “watchdog” that would check its officials.)

Mark Ivan Confessor, 21 years old, Tuguegarao City: “I still believe that the youth are the hope of our motherland. So they should really strengthen the SK system specifically the age requirement. If they will change it from 14 – 17 years old to 18 – 25 years old, it would be better because by that time, they are already knowledgeable about the needs and demands of their fellow youths that they should address.”

On the issue of SK as being the breeding ground for corrupt politicians, a youth from Baguio City who refused to be named told this writer that it has become the breeding ground for new trapos because of its corrupt environment. Thus, he said abolition is not the solution but cleaning it so as to become a training ground for good governance. # nordis.net

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