The substitute bill “An Act Introducing Reforms in the Sangguniang Kabataan” or the SK Reform Bill was approved by the House of Representatives Committee on Local Government on Wednesday, January 28.
“We are a big step closer to a meaningful SK”, remarks National Youth Commission [NYC] Chairperson Gio Tingson. “The amendments in the approved version will democratize and professionalize the institution”, he added.
The youth agency commended the champion-legislators and advocates in the House of Representatives for displaying political will.
Tingson mentioned that “the Committee members and the SK reform advocates will ensure the passage of the SK reform bill into law by February”. The members of the Committee present during the hearing unanimously agreed to co-author the substitute bill.
The progress in both houses of Congress complements the looming postponement of the SK polls, originally scheduled for February 21 of this year.
Last week, leaders in the Senate and the Lower House have agreed to push for the said postponement in the spirit of SK reform.
The House committee version includes the following provisions: (1) expansion of age requirement for Katipunan ng Kabataan to 15-21 years old and for SK officials to 18-21, from the original 15-17; (2) mandatory training on leadership and good governance with fund allocation of 75 million pesos; (3) clear disciplinary and accountability mechanisms and (4) anti-political dynasty clause.
“Let’s see this through”, remarked Tingson. “This meaningful reform will serve as one of the landmark legislations by this administration for young people”, he concluded.