MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Tuesday said it will put on hold for now its proposal to Malacañang to abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).
This, after DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo met with youth groups opposed to the proposal.
Robredo gave militant group Akbayan Youth until Wednesday to submit its suggestions, which will be incorporated into a joint proposal to the Palace.
The DILG has proposed to replace the SK with a single youth representative in the barangay council because the SK was purportedly politicized and inefficient.
However, this raised concerns that scrapping the SK would deprive the youth of their right to participate in nation-building.
In a statement, Akbayan Youth said the DILG secretary and youth representatives agreed on increasing the age bracket of youth participants from 15-17 to 15-25.
Also agreed during the consultation was the creation of a Youth Consultative Body or Youth Development Council, which will be composed of local youth organizations in the barangay. This body will act as the youth development arm of the barangays.
These agreements are included in House Bill no. 468 or the SK Reform and Empowerment Bill filed Akbayan party-list representative Arlene Bag-ao and Walden Bello last July 1.
Among the salient points in that Akbayan proposed law was the widening of the age range from 15-17 to 15-25 years old, institutionalizing of an accountability mechanism through regular Katipunan ng Kabataan or Barangay Youth Development Council meeting; strengthening of SK leaders and its youth constituency and the introduction of an anti-dynasty clause.