No to SK Abolition: Akbayan Youth calls on PNoy to invest more on youth
Contact: Marlon Cornelio, 09184608956; Cheann Matriz, 0918 412 8622
“With more than a 3rd of population, young people deserve a better share of government resources, they deserve better institutions for meaningful youth participation,” says Marlon Cornelio, Secretary General of Akbayan Youth.
Akbayan Youth, one of the convenors SK Reform Coalition, has expressed dismay over PNoy’s pronouncement that would in effect abolish SK.
“Abolishing SK to cut cost is just unacceptable,” says Cornelio.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda was quoted in the news saying that the PNoy wants barangay elections to push through this October while the SK will be abolish to save on costs.
In a separate statement, the SK Reform Coalition asks PNoy’s administration not to view maintaining SK as cost but as an investment on young people.
“Cutting investment on young people and demeaning an institution supposed to train young people on governance is severing the lifeline of our country’s ready and capable leaders,” the statement said.
Lacierda explained that under the administration’s proposal, the SK councils would be abolished and only chairpersons would have to be elected in October. He said DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo was preparing the bill for these proposals because they would need an amendatory law.
But the Coalition warned that “electing a youth representative to the barangay council is nothing but mere tokenism to youth participation; a backward step that PNoy government should not take.”
SK, a unique Philippine mechanism, is a quintessential example child and youth participation in governance according to UNICEF. SK provides not only space for youth to participate but the right and obligation to govern.
Rather than abolition, Akbayan Youth together with the SK Reform Coalition, through their representatives in Congress, has re-filed SK Reform and Empowerment Bill (HB 468), which was also filed last 13th and 14th Congress.
On the United Nations International Youth Day, Akbayan Youth challenges PNoy to make SK Reform a priority in his administration.