Press Release
February 9, 2015

Senate expands Sangguniang Kabataan bill
to include anti-dynasty provision

The Senate approved today on third and final reading a measure which seeks to strengthen the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) by, among other things, barring family and relatives of second degree of consanguinity and affinity of appointed officials from seeking SK elections, adjusting the age of SK officials, and providing trainings to make the elected SK members aware of their responsibilities.

Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2401, also known as the proposed Youth Development and Empowerment Act of 2015, said that a provision in the bill prohibits family and relatives of any public official, from national, provincial, city, municipality, and barangay levels, including appointed ones, up to the second degree of affinity and consanguinity, from seeking any SK position.

"The anti-dynasty provision prevents elected officials from exerting undue influence so that their sons or daughters could be elected as ex-officio members in SK," Marcos said.

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon then said that the approved bill is an important reform initiative that will help implement the anti-political dynasty provision in Article II, Section 26, of the 1986 Constitution: "The ban on political dynasties at the youth governance level is a good start in finally realizing the anti-political dynasty stance of our Constitution, which is yet to be fully enabled in our laws."

Among the other criticisms hurled against the SK is that it exposes the youth to corruption. Comelec officials alleged that some candidates had been engaged in poll fraud in 2013. An offshoot of the Kabataang Barangay, the SK which was established during the regime of then President Ferdinand Marcos, was designed to give the youth a chance to be involved in community affairs and to provide the government the means to inform them of the government's development efforts.

According to Marcos, the proposed measure also calls for the increase of age of the qualified SK applicants from 15 to 17 years old to 18 to 24 years old to allow the youth to have a "more mature perspective on their roles and responsibilities as elected SK officials. "Increasing the age of SK officials from 15-17 years of age to 18-24 years old would provide them with the necessary training to professionalize their skills and enable the youth to be more accountable for their actions," Marcos said.

He said elected SK officials would also be provided with more training programs to "professionalize their service and make sure that they would serve not on the basis of bloodline or affinity but because of a dedication to serve." Marcos said the measure also calls for the creation of the Local Youth Development Council (LYDC), a body composed of representatives from different community-based youth organizations that will be tasked to ensure wide and multi-sectoral youth participation in local governance.

"This measure leads the way in preparing a new generation of leaders, bringing with them new ideas and energy, fired by a passion and idealism that burn strong in today's youth," Marcos said.

The measure is co-authored by Sen. Cynthia Villar and co-sponsored by Senators Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, Francis "Chiz" Escudero, Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV, Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. (Yvonne Almirañez)

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