July 19, 2024

■  Rimaliza A. Opiña 

Only 19, out of the 128 barangays of Baguio, have a complete set of Sangguniang Kabataan officials.

In the certified list issued by the Commission on Elections, Asin Road, Bakakeng Norte, East Bayan Park, Bayan Park Village, West Bayan Park, Cresencia Village, Dontogan, Fort del Pilar, Greenwater Village, Happy Hallow, Irisan, Kias, Lucnab, Honeymoon, Lower Quirino Hill, West Quirino Hill, Rizal Monument, Santo Tomas Proper, and Sto. Niño-Slaughterhouse Compound are the only barangays that have a complete roster of SK officials.

Twenty-nine barangays only have a chairman, and the rest of the barangays could not even constitute a quorum necessary for the youth officials to deliberate and decide policies for their sector.

In the SK Reform Act, the 2023 barangay and SK elections is the first time that the anti-dynasty provision of the law is implemented. This is also the first time that youth leaders 18 years old and above were allowed to run for the SK and vote in the barangay at the same time.

In the old SK law, candidates should be between 15 to 17 years old. The law was amended in consonance with other laws where the recognized legal age is 18.

Under the guidelines of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, a special election or appointment of officials may be undertaken to fill-up the vacant posts.

Current SK Federation President is Levy Lloyd Orcales is on his last term and has recently won as the punong barangay of South Central Aurora Hill.