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PIA Press Release
2007/07/16

Youth council seeks barangay-level registration, major reforms for Sangguniang Kabataan

Cebu City (16 July) -- In light of the upcoming registration for the new voters for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, the National Youth Commission (NYC) proposes to have some serious changes that will improve the political body.

The most crucial proposal is that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) conducts the registration of the new SK voters in the barangay halls instead of the crowded city or municipal halls.

The suggestion stems from observations of some consulted youth groups that previous city and municipal level registrations prohibit residents of far-flung barangays from enlisting due to distance, while barangay level registrations have encouraged growth in number of new voters.

Another proposal, providing for the increase of age requirement of would-be SK officials from 15 to 17 years old to 15 to 21 years old, is supported by a study conducted by the UP Center for Integrative and Developmental Studies (UP-CIDS). This provision is included in the SK Reform Bill, which the NYC continuously lobbies for approval in both houses of congress. Another salient provision is the prohibition for candidacy in a Sangguniang Kabataan post of relatives of elected or appointive officials up to the 4th degree of consanguinity and affinity.

Chairman Richie Nalupta, a product of the Sangguniang Kabataan himself, sees value in these proposals to reform the existing system, as these measures would aid greatly in providing a venue where the youth can truly participate in governance.

"These reforms will strengthen the institution, and give credibility to a much maligned political body. We believe that with these changes, the Sangguniang Kabataan will truly be a training ground for young government leaders", adds Chairman Nalupta.

NYC Commissioner Benjie Oliva of Visayas on his part commented that aside from these reforms the SK should be an institution for value formation and good citizenship. It should have a strong moral foundation to exemplify dynamism and idealism that would spur the youth to achieve excellence in whatever field of endeavor they are in, Commissioner Oliva added. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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