Reviewing the SK Reform Act

By: Atty. Ruphil F. Bañoc May 31,2018 - 08:57 PM

BAÑOC

I was once an SK Chairman in one of the barangays of my hometown Baybay, Leyte. I learned a lot of things as a public servant, but I also witnessed how dirty politics is.

I remember when I ran for Sangguniang Kabataan Chairman in our Barangay Pomponan. The election was very calm and peaceful because I did not have an opponent for the post. Maybe it was because my constituents already knew me and they observed my active leadership in the youth of the church in our parish.

In our neighboring barangays however, the SK election was very chaotic. It was because of the intervention of the politicians whose children were candidates for SK post.

I was declared winner and then took my oath. As an innocent youth in terms of politics at that time, I tried to run for president in the SK federation election. It was a three-cornered fight with my two rivals who are sons of powerful politicians.

I was 3rd year college then and my rivals were in third year high school. I believed that in terms of maturity and leadership experience I had the edge over my competitors. I thought that it was just an election like the one in school when no one intervenes in the purely student related activities.

But I was totally wrong. That was the time that I observed all the dirty tactics in politics. From vote buying; kidnapping or housing of SK chairpersons in hotels and resorts; offering jobs to siblings of SK chairmen; firing the relatives of SK chairmen who work in government if the latter will not vote for the politician’s son and etchetera. The election was controversial that resulted to none of us sat the contested post.

My personal observation in my hometown was also happening in almost all places in the country. Such dirty tactics could not be done by the youth. The youth are not at fault, but the old who are supposed to guide them.

Now, with the SK Reform Act of 2015, I still observe the similarities. Although, the ban of the immediate relatives of the elected officials to run for SK post mitigates, if not totally eliminates, the tensions in the barangay level.

However, the dirty game is resurrected in the federation election level due to the intervention again of the traditional politicians.

The post as an ex-officio member of the council makes the election of the SK president very crucial like in the case of Cebu City.

Both camps, BO-PK and Team Rama intervene in youth affairs. Jessica Rech of BO-PK garnered 44 votes against Ma. Sonia Fate Cal of Team Rama with 34 votes.

I think the author of the SK Reform Act should take a second look on the said law.

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TAGS: ACT, reform, reviewing, SK

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