- House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez says he wants to abolish the SK and the installation of barangay councilors
- He stated that this is one of the reasons why he favors the move to postpone the upcoming barangay elections
- He noted that SK is already well represented via party list for the youth sector
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez expressed his desire to abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and the barangay (village) councilors.
The Davao del Norte representative disclosed that this is one of the reasons why he favors the move to postpone the barangay elections which is set on the end of October this year.
An article published by Rappler on August 28 mentioned that Alvarez noted that the main problem with SK is that elected officials will be forced to work and be discouraged to go to school or the other way around. Thus, he added, these young officials will be paid by the barangay without doing anything.
As such, Alvarez said it is better to remove it since all sectors are already well represented by a party list for the youth sector.
SK is the country’s youth council at the grassroots level.
Elections for the council, which is conducted every three years, have been put on hold prior to the 2013 barangay elections.
Last January, former President Benigno Aquino III signed the SK Reform Act primarily to curb corruption in the youth council.
Under the law, the age requirement for SK officials raises from 15-17 years old to 18-24 years old. It also requires them to undergo leadership training for good government practices and fiscal transparency.
Other salient feature of the legislation is its anti-dynasty provision that prohibits kin of incumbent officials up to the second level of affinity and consanguinity to hold a post in the SK.
Meanwhile, Alvarez stressed that barangay kagawad or councilors just like the SK are also freeloaders in government further claiming that in reality only the barangay captains are working.
In stating his piece, the House leader said that councilors must be replaced with purok leaders. A purok is a cluster of 20 to 50 households.
With regards to the postponement of the elections, Alvarez cited he wants it moved for another two years to give way to President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointments, since the law prohibits it during an election period.
Alvarez also said he wants to extend the terms of current barangay and SK officials to five years instead of only three years.