SK sooner than later

Sun.Star Baguio - - OPINION -

FOUR years of youth dis­en­fran­chise­ment is a very long time. The last Sang­gu­ni­ang Ka­bataan elec­tions were held on Oc­to­ber 25, 2010. The term of the of­fi­cials elected then ended on Oc­to­ber 31, 2013. Elec­tions have al­ready been post­poned three times, and for four years now, young peo­ple have been de­prived of their voice and rep­re­sen­ta­tion in lo­cal gov­er­nance. Dur­ing its ab­sence, so much has hap­pened to the SK.

The SK, as an in­sti­tu­tion, has ex­pe­ri­enced years of de­cline due to the in­flu­ence of tra­di­tional pol­i­tics and struc­tural lim­i­ta­tions, but it has now been over­hauled. Through in­sti­tu­tional re­form and em­pow­er­ment, it has fi­nally been re­stored to its found­ing spirit of be­ing a seedbed for youth devel­op­ment and youth par­tic­i­pa­tion.

The re­form of the in­sti­tu­tion was very much an­tic­i­pated be­cause it was long over­due. The new and em­pow­ered SK is very promis­ing. The re­form cured the struc­tural flaws of the in­sti­tu­tion, en­gen­dered par­tic­i­pa­tory gov­er­nance, trans­parency, and ac­count­abil­ity. In the new SK regime, ef­fi­ciency, ef­fec­tive­ness, and re­spon­sive­ness are the core val­ues. It is not only promis­ing, it is trail­blaz­ing, be­cause it pro­hibits po­lit­i­cal dy­nas­ties—a fun­da­men­tal step to­wards po­lit­i­cal moder­nity.

The new SK is promis­ing and trail­blaz­ing in­deed. It would usher in a new and bright era for youth par­tic­i­pa­tion in gov­er­nance.

But the dark clouds of elec­tions post­pone­ment hover again.

There is a solid con­sen­sus among the mem­bers of the ma­jor­ity in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to post­pone the Barangay and SK elec­tions. The Com­mit­tee on Suf­frage and Elec­toral Re­forms has de­cided to resched­ule the barangay and SK elec­tions to May 2018 which ac­cord­ing to lead­ers of the lower house will co­in­cide with the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Ba­sic Law. In their pro­posed leg­is­la­tion, in­cum­bent barangay of­fi­cials

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