Akbayan Youth Calls on DILG to extend budget transparency to SK Funds

While barangay and SK elections are fast approaching, Akbayan Youth calls on the DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo to direct outgoing SK officials to make public financial reports during their term.

“SK is under direct supervision of the DILG. We call on Sec. Robredo to extend his campaign to promote budget transparency in the department and among local governments to SK fund at the barangay and federation levels. SK should be made to account for the budget they were given ” says Marlon Cornelio, Secretary General of Akbayan Youth.

In his first days in office, Robredo, in an unprecedented move, published in the DILG website the current budget and status of fund of all agencies of the department. He also issued a memo (MC2010-083) directing all local governments to publicly disclose their financial transactions to promote transparency and accountability.

Akbayan Youth, convenor of SK Reform Coalition, makes the call as part of its effort to introduce reform in the institution. Akbayan Youth is also alarmed by several media reports of extravagant spending among outgoing SK federation officials. Recently, SK Reform Coalition –Iloilo filled a complaint against SK City Federation- Iloilo for allegedly spending 1.3 M in a “Palawan SKapade”. Similarly, SK Federation –Cebu has been criticized for its excessive spending on a Boracay seminar. The two seminars were reported as capacity building trainings for outgoing SK officials. The SK National Federation is also hounded by corruption allegations in its failure to release its financial statement for the past 3 years.

Cornelio also urged the DILG Secretary to issue a guideline to clarify utilization of SK fund and to ensure transparency and accountability mechanisms.

“Soon, we will have a new set of SK officials, it should be made clear to them what are allowed and not. Many SK officials believe that getting 10-20 % commission in every projects is SOP (standard operating procedure),” Cornelio added.

SK has 10% share in the internal revenue allotment and other locally generated income.

Campaigns for the barangay and SK elections are on going. Election day is on the 25th of October.

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