Resch asks COA to check transactions of SK councils

·3 min read

CEBU City Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation President Jessica Resch has urged the Commission on Audit (COA) to include the transactions and liquidation reports of SK councils in its annual audit report.

Amid reports of the postponement of the Barangay and SK elections (BSKE) to 2023 or 2024, Resch said it is now time for COA to check on the fiscal management of the Sangguniang Kabataan before any elections happen.

The BSKE is scheduled to take place on Dec. 5, 2022, but several measures have been filed in both houses of Congress to move it to later dates.

Resch told reporters Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, that in her opinion, having an election this year or postponing it to another date does not matter as long as a smooth transition will be guaranteed before they step down from office.

“Naa mi problem nga dili gihapon siya i-record or i-check sa COA ang mga documents (We have a problem with the COA still not recording or checking the documents), and it is the right time for the national (government) to focus on this one... If ever this year or next year (election), ang transition sa SK hapsay kaayo (the transition in the SK would be smooth),” said Resch.

A resolution has also been passed by Resch in the City Council to urge COA to include SK transactions in its auditing.

Resch is thankful to Mayor Michael Rama for allocating P20 million that can be used by the federation for the programs and projects of the youth sector.

The last Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections were held in May 2018. In late 2019, then President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law moving the May 2020 elections to December 2022.

Moving the elections to December 2023 would mean having barangay and SK officials serve a term of five and a half years, which is longer than the three-year term of mayors, governors and other elected local officials.

Officials resigned

Resch is also asking the Commission on Elections to facilitate the conduct of special elections for barangays that do not have a complete SK council.

She said around 20 percent of the elected and appointed SK officials have already resigned from their posts or have become ineffective in performing their duties.

According to Resch, the SK officials have left their posts to pursue greener pastures, especially those SK councilors who do not receive any honorarium.

“Priority sa mga youth nato karon (The priority of the youth now) is education and of course their career... At this kind of age and everyone is growing up and changing their priorities in life,” said Resch.

The SK is a council intended to represent the youth in each barangay in the Philippines.

Republic Act 10742, passed in 2016 to establish reforms in the SK, stipulates that in every barangay there shall be a Sangguniang Kabataan composed of a chairperson and seven members to be elected by the registered voters of the Katipunan ng Kabataan (KK).

The SK chairperson shall, with the concurrence of majority of the SK members, appoint from among the members of the KK, a secretary and a treasurer.

The KK refers to all citizens residing in the barangay for at least six months, who are from 15-30 years old, and registered in the list of the Commission on Elections and/or the records of the SK secretary.

The SK chairperson serves as an ex officio member of the Barangay Council, enjoying the same privileges as the regular Barangay Council members such as honorarium for every session of the Barangay Council he attends.

Under the Local Government Code of 1991, which created the SK, only the SK chairperson is entitled to an honorarium as a member of the SB.