EDITORIAL – A step forward
EDITORIAL – A step forward
(The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2016 - 9:00am

Finally, a baby step in the right direction. Without fanfare, President Aquino has signed a law reforming the Sangguniang Kabataan. It would be better to just abolish the SK and save taxpayers a substantial amount, since youths are not lacking in political representation anyway. But probably because most SK members are related to politicians including lawmakers, there was no political will to abolish the youth councils.

The nation may eventually move in that direction. In the meantime, lawmakers have come up with a compromise, which is to ban political dynasties in the SK. Republic Act 10742 bans from the SK youths who are related up to the second degree by blood or affinity to any incumbent elected national or local official down to the barangay level.

This provision could wipe out nearly the entire SK membership nationwide, and allow the infusion of new blood into the youth councils. Long seen as nothing but a training ground, at taxpayers’ expense, of younger members who will perpetuate political dynasties, the SK has long needed an overhaul.

RA 10742 includes provisions for training SK members on transparency and accountability in governance. Whether the training will trump examples set by crooked public officials, especially those related to incumbent SK members, remains to be seen.

With the enactment of SK reforms, perhaps Congress will be more open to passing laws to curb if not totally ban political dynasties. Congress, in self-preservation, has ignored for nearly three decades the constitutional provision calling for an enabling law banning political dynasties.

The result is that in recent years, dynasty building has taken on shameless proportions, with entrenched families – mistresses included – wanting to control every available elective office not only in their turfs but also in areas where they can claim some ancestral link. Banning dynasties in the SK is a good start in ending the abuse. This law must be properly implemented, and the ban on dynasties expanded to the wider political realm.

ACIRC BAN DYNASTIES LAW MEMBERS POLITICAL PRESIDENT AQUINO RELATED REPUBLIC ACT SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN TRAINING
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