SK sooner than later
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