SK Abolition Halted, DILG commits to Akbayan Youth’s Reform Agenda

Representatives from the SK Reform Coalition and Departmentof Interior and Local Government  (DILG)secretary Jessie Robredo on Tuesday agreed to amend the Local Government Codeof 1991, particularly the creation of Sanggunian Kabataan, Katipunan ng mgaKabataan and its powers and duties.

“The coalition appreciates the fact that the DILG providedtime for this dialogue and to finally settle confusion on the issue of the SKAbolition,” said Akbayan Youth president Machris  Cabreros after the dialogue which lasted formore than an hour.

According to Cabreros, the DILG Secretary committed not to abolish SK but to carryout massive reform measures to empower the institution.

Among the salient points which the youth representatives andthe DILG secretary agreed on was the increasing of the age bracket of youthparticipants from 15-17 to 15-25. The two groups agreed to this in order tobroaden participation and representation of the sector.

Also agreed during the consultation was the creation of aYouth Consultative Body or Youth Development Council, which will be composed oflocal youth organizations in the barangay.  This body will act as the youth development armof the barangays.

These agreements are included in the SK Reform and Empowerment Bill (HouseBill no. 468) of Akbayan Party filed by its representative Arlene Bag-ao andWalden Bello last July 1 which will be enhanced with the agreed amendments and submitted in a draft bill by DILG toMalacanang.

Among the salient points in that Akbayan proposed law was the widening of the agerange from 15-17 to 15-25 years old, institutionalizing of an accountabilitymechanism through regular Katipunan ng Kabataan or Barangay Youth DevelopmentCouncil meeting; strengthening of SK leaders and its youth constituency and theintroduction of an anti-dynasty clause.

Alsowith Cabreros in the dialogue held at the DILG office along EDSA near Kamias St. in Quezon City were Akbayan Youth Secretary General Marlon Cornelio, SK ReformCoalition Spokesperson John Tobit Cruz, First Time Voters Convenors Emman Perezand Tristan Bringas and Student Council Alliance of the Philippines ExecutiveBoard Member Liza Dizon..

Press Release17 August 2010

Contact Persons: Machris@0917.590.7940 Marlon@0918.460.8956

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