By Marjorie Gorospe
QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA— Lawmakers should consider reforming the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) rather than push for abolition, a partylist group said.
Kabataan partylist Representative Raymond Palatino stressed that while the partylist acknowledges that the SK has weaknesses, it does not mean that it should abolished right away.
Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia Valenzuela City Represenative Magtanggol Gunigundo earlier filed bills, citing that SK members are minors and that they cannot perform legal matters considering their age (15 years old to 18 years old).
In his bill, Gunigundo stressed that the public “cannot entrust power and public funds to teenagers who are just beginning to learn what responsibility and accountability are all about”. They also should devote their time in their studies instead, the lawmaker said.
Palatino said his group is pushing for adjusting the age to 18 years old and above so that SK members can be part of legal transactions. “Abolition is not the only option considering that the SK has existed for 30 years,” Palatino said.
Palatino also dismissed criticisms that the SK is only being used to establish political dynasties and encourage corruption “How can we expect the young to act responsibly if they see someone older doing something wrong?” Palatino said.
He noted that there are government agencies which should be abolished as well if corruption and promotion of political dynasties would be the reason for the SK’s abolition.
Congress is expected to come up with a resolution this year, Palatino said.
Moves to abolish the SK started in 2010. After the synchronized SK and barangay elections, Senator Edgardo Angara called for an alternative post for the youth in politics.
He further suggested that the government should create an elected position within the barangay, municipal, or provincial council for youth representatives instead of the SK.
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