/ 18 September 2023

SENATOR Juan Edgardo Angara expressed optimism that officials and members who will be elected in the upcoming Sangguniang Kabataan elections will benefit from a stronger, more responsive and progressive system with the implementation of the law introducing new reforms to the barangay youth body.

More than one year after RA 11768 was signed into law by former President Rodrigo Duterte, the implementing rules and regulations was finally signed last September 2, 2023, paving the way for the full implementation of the law.

As the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 11768 or the law that introduced new reforms to the SK system, Angara said he expects to see a change in the perception of the youth body that has come under fire in the past years.

“Critics of the SK have questioned its relevance and see it as being politicized. We introduced the amendments to the SK system in RA 11768 in response to these criticisms with the hope that the young members of the community who will be part of the body will do more as youth leaders and become strong partners of the government in nation building,” Angara, chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Youth, said.

The law provides clear guidelines on the types of programs, projects and activities that can be undertaken by the SK using the funds provided to them.

These include the provision of student stipends, food, book and transportation allowances; sports and wellness projects; skills training, summer employment, cash-for-work, on-the-job training, and livelihood assistance; projects promoting the participation of the youth and their initiation in agricultural, fishery, and forestry enterprises; programs and activities that will locate the youth at the forefront of climate action, environmental protection and conservation efforts; capacity building for grassroots organization and leadership; and programs and activities that address context-specific and intersectional vulnerabilities of young people.

“We want to ensure that the SK stays true to its mandate of providing the youth in the communities with programs that will be useful to them and help them become productive members of society,” Angara said.

At present, only the SK chairpersons are entitled to honoraria by virtue of their status as ex-officio members of the Sangguniang Barangays.

Under the law, the SK members, secretaries and treasurers will now be entitled to allowances that will be charged against the SK funds.

SK officials and members will also enjoy an exemption from taking any components of the National Service Training Program.

They will also be entitled to the appropriate civil service eligibility based on the years of service to the barangay, pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Civil Service Commission.

A Youth Development Office will be established in every province, city and municipality to be headed by a youth development officer who must be appointed within a year from the effectivity of the law.

“Umaasa tayo na ang mga reporma na nakalaman sa bagong batas ay tutugon sa mga naging hamon sa kredibilidad ng SK at maengganyo ang mas maraming kabataan na sumali sa SK at maging bahagi ng pagpapatibay at pagpapaunlad ng ating lipunan,” Angara said.