Youth groups call to expedite SK reforms
Michael Vencynth H. Braga/JMD (The Freeman) - August 13, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - In celebration of the International Youth Day, the National Youth Commission and some youth organizations joined forces yesterday with a call to speed up the passage of Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Bill.

NYC Commissioner Jose Rafael Cruz, in a statement, said they are pushing for the approval of measures reforming the SK before the youth council poll set by the law.

The October 2013 SK elections were postponed after Republic Act 10632, which resets the youth council elections between October 28, 2014 and February 23, 2015, was enacted to pave way for the reforms on its system.

The law, however, did not allow SK officials to retain their positions in a holdover capacity, as well as appointment of temporary SK officials.

"The window is getting smaller as COMELEC (Commission on Elections) is set to hold elections as early as October of this year. Even if there are disagreements on the exact measures and proposals for reform, what we can all agree on is that there is a need to fix the current system. We can't go back to the status quo," Cruz stated.

Erwin Andaya, former Commissioner of NYC-Visayas, said the proposed measures that seek for SK reforms are still pending in both houses of Congress.

"Sa Senate, ato na lang gihuwat for second reading. Sa second reading atong gi-expect ang senators, ipagawas na gyod ilang klarong position mahitungod sa SK… Atong target before this year ends, naa na ang atong Senate and House version," he said during a press conference, which was one of the activities lined up for yesterday's Youth Day celebration.

The reforms that have been pushed include adjusting the SK age range to 18 to 24 years old, from the present 15 to 17 years old and the implementation of fiscal autonomy and anti-dynasty provisions.

"Di pwede modagan sa SK ang bisan kinsa nga paryente up to fourth degree sa incumbent local official, so, anak, pag-umangkon," Andaya told reporters.

Also present during the press conference were Chao Cabatingan of Akbayan Youth-Visayas, John Philip Po of SK Reform Coalition and John Isaac Saguit of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines-Sugbu.

Calling for reforms, the International Youth Day celebration yesterday was dubbed as National Day of Action for SK Reform. As part of its pursuit, an SK Reform concert was held last night at Fuente Osmeña in an effort to gain signatures supporting the call. — (FREEMAN)

 

CHAO CABATINGAN OF AKBAYAN YOUTH-VISAYAS COMMISSIONER JOSE RAFAEL CRUZ ERWIN ANDAYA FUENTE OSME INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY JOHN PHILIP PO NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION NATIONAL YOUTH COMMISSION REFORM COALITION AND JOHN ISAAC SAGUIT OF THE STUDENT COUNCIL ALLIANCE OF THE PHILIPPINES-SUGBU REPUBLIC ACT YOUTH
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