BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution urging the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to expedite the completion of the guidelines in the filling-up of vacancies in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) for the youth to be able to perform their assigned duties and responsibilities in the city’s 128 barangays.
The resolution authored by SK federation president and Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales stated that with the absence of the promised guidelines in the filling up of the vacancies caused by the absence of sufficient candidates for the provided positions in the previous synchronized barangay and SK elections last May 2018, the integrity of the SK is now being questioned by concerned sectors of the city and the SK federation of the city is not safe from the said scenario and other demeaning remarks from the critics of the implementation of the SK Reform Act.
The resolution added that the SK was re-institutionalized as the main thrust of the youth in local governance and policy formulation as embodied in the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 10742 or popularly known as the SK Reform Act of 2015.
According to the resolution, the SK in its 5-year absence since 2013 created a vacuum in the supposed delivery of basic services and assertions for the youth that further caused the alleged disenfranchisement of the voice of the youth in civic and government affairs.
Under the SK Reform Act, there were definitive reforms in the structure and operations of the SK, the current situation of the SKs in the city is marred with vacant or unfilled positions wherein from the city’s 128 barangays, there are 9 barangays with no SK officials and multiple barangays do not have a quorum on its SK thereby hindering the smooth implementation of its desired activities geared towards the emancipation of the youth in various aspects of development.
The resolution stipulated that the DILG is the primary authority presumed to craft the required guidelines for the efficient and effective operations of the SK Reform Law, specifically on the filling up of vacancies in the SK councils for them to be able to perform their assigned duties and responsibilities as the voice of the youth in governance among others.
One of the identified factors that discouraged the youth from embracing the SK Reform Act is the absence of pertinent provisions of the law that allow the SK kagawads to be granted honoraria for the services that they will render while allowing the SK chairperson to be granted substantial honoraria which is considered by a number of sectors as unfair to those SK kagawads who will be scarifying their time, efforts and resources in attending to the implementation of their programs, projects and activities without receiving a single centavo in compensation.
Earlier, the Commission on Election (Comelec) stated that it will be the DILG in coordination with the Office of the President that will formulate the guidelines in the filling up of the vacancies in the SK councils in the different barangays not only in the city but also in the whole country. The filling up of vacant SK positions could be done through the appointment of SK officials or the conduct of special elections that will complete the full slate of a SK chairperson and 7 SK kagawads in a barangay.
SK officials are eagerly awaiting the issuance of the rules and regulations for the filling up of positions so that they will be able to use the mandated funds for their priority projects. By Dexter A. See