December 10, 2022

The city council expressed its support to a Senate bill that sought to amend provisions of the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015 to further empower the members of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).

One of the amendments introduced by Senate Bill 2124 is the grant of monthly honoraria to SK members, secretaries, and treasurers.

It is proposed that the honoraria shall be chargeable against the funds of the SK, subject to guidelines issued by the Department of Budget and Management and may be augmented by the local government units through their respective ordinances.

According to the Senate bill, SK chairpersons are currently entitled to an honorarium by virtue of their status as ex-officio members of the sangguniang barangays, yet all other elective and appointive positions of the SK are treated as volunteers and do not receive any form of remuneration.

The bill stressed SK funds may be only used for student stipends, book, and education allowances; sports and wellness projects; skills training; OJT assistance; cash-to-work; livelihood assistance; environment conversation; calamity preparedness; and capacity building. A maximum of 15 percent of the SK funds shall be set aside for the mandatory and continuing training of SK officials and members.

The bill also recommends that the candidate for the position of SK treasurer should have an educational background and/or career background in either of the fields of business administration, accountancy, finance, economics, or bookkeeping.

The bill proposed LGUs shall appropriate no less than one percent of its annual budget for the Local Youth Development Office primarily for the implementation of youth-related projects, programs, and activities.

Sen. Sonny Angara, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Youth, has filed the bill in substitution of Senate bills 1088, 1266, and 1401 he filed and by senators Ramon Revilla Jr., and Imee Marcos.

Senate Bill 2124 is a product of extensive consultations with the SK Federation, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, DBM, the National Youth Commission, the academe, and other stakeholders.

The resolution, authored by Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales, said the filing of Senate Bill 2124 is a testament of the government’s recognition of the gaps of Republic Act 10742 (SK Reform Act of 2015) and of the need to provide mechanisms towards a just and reasonable remuneration of elected and appointed SK members, treasurers, and secretaries in the conduct of their mandated functions and responsibilities for the Filipino youth.

In August 2018, Orcales likewise proposed an ordinance granting financial assistance to all SK members, treasurers, and secretaries in Baguio.

The resolution was referred to the DILG Baguio and the office of Rep. Marquez O. Go. – Kimberly Badang