SK reform bill hurdles committee level: Angara

SK reform bill hurdles committee level: Angara

MANILA – The Senate Committee on Youth has approved amendments to Republic Act 10742 or the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Act of 2015 to further enhance the participation of young men and women in local governance.

Senator Sonny Angara, chair of the Committee on Youth, sponsored on Monday Senate Bill 2124 which is a product of extensive consultations with the SK Federations, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the National Youth Commission, the academe, and other stakeholders.

In August last year, the Committee on Youth also held an inquiry into the implementation of RA 10742 to gather inputs on which provisions of the law are working and the possible amendments needed to improve the system.

Senate Bill 2124 was filed in substitution of Senate Bills 1088, 1266 and 1401 filed by Senators Angara, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Imee Marcos respectively, all seeking to amend RA 10742.

Among the amendments contained in the bill is the grant of monthly honoraria to SK members, secretaries and treasurers.

At present, only the SK chairpersons are entitled to honoraria by virtue of their status as ex-officio members of the Sangguniang Barangays.

“The issue of honoraria or in this case, the lack of it, has been cited as one of the main reasons why fewer people want to join the SK. We recognize the importance of getting the youth involved in local governance and how this experience contributes to their development as future leaders so we should provide them with all the support we can give,” Angara said.

The honoraria are chargeable against the funds of the SK, subject to the guidelines issued by the DBM and may be augmented by the local government units through their respective local ordinances.

For the position of SK treasurer, the bill recommends that the candidate should have an educational and/or career background in either of the fields of business administration, accountancy, finance, economics or bookkeeping.

On the use SK funds, the bill provides that these may be used only for the following: student stipends, book and education allowances, sports and wellness projects, skills training, OJT (on the job training) assistance, cash-for-work, livelihood assistance, environment conservation, calamity preparedness, and capacity-building.

A maximum of 15 percent of the SK funds shall be set aside for the mandatory and continuing training of SK officials and members.

The bill also grants additional privileges to the SK officials including their entitlement to appropriate Civil Service Eligibility, provided that the concerned officials have rendered full terms of office.

They will also be exempted from taking any of the components of the National Service Training Program.

SKs are mandated to formulate and approve their internal rules, appoint its secretary and treasurer, and set the schedule for regular SK meetings and Katipunan ng Kabataan meetings within 60 days from their assumption to office.

A Local Youth Development Officer must be appointed within a year from the effectivity of this law.

LGUs will also be mandated to appropriate no less than 1 percent of its annual budget for the Local Youth Development Office.

“The work of improving our SK system must continue. The SK, appropriately reformed and capacitated, remains relevant and much-needed. The youth should be given a place in the everyday business of building our nation and serving our people,” Angara said. (PNA)

Leave a Reply