Will the SK stay or go?
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Are the days of the Sangguniang Kabataan numbered?
In recent weeks, calls for the abolition of the youth political group called the Sangguniang Kabataan, or SK have become stronger with both election watch dog groups and the Commission on Election apparently supporting the move. They have pointed out what they call the uselessness and the waste of money on the benefits of the SK members who are paid a similar amount to that of the Sangguniang Barangay.
Among those who have expressed dismay at the performance and the developments in the characters and personalities of some, or most of the SK members, are noted election lawyer Romeo Macalintal, the head of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting Henrietta de Villa, and Commission on Election Chairman Sixto Brilliantes and one of its Comelec commissioners, Lucenito Tagle.
What are the arguments they have underscored to justify the abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan? Among them are:
- The SK is turning out “trapos”, or traditional politicians.
- The young members learn about vote-buying early.
- There have been no outstanding or good results from majority of the groups.
- They cannot even sign legal documents.
- It is just a waste of money
- The young people learn early about corrupt practices
- They cannot even be charged, being minors.
- The SK is just a breeding ground for political dynasties.
There are other reasons given by both politicians and ordinary citizens, especially those who remember that the SK had originated during the Marcos administration, and nurtured by his daughter, Imelda, Jr.
What do the newly-elected, and the re-elected members of Congress, as well as the new Senators and the retained ones think about the retention or abolition of the SK? Will their own political plans make them decide in its favor come voting time?*