The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) is the youth council in the barangay and its members are elected from among the members of the Katipunan ng mga Kabataan. Each barangay in the Philippines is mandated by law to have its own chapter of the Katipunan ng Kabataan in which the members elect their officers called as the Sangguniang Kabataan.
The Sangguniang Kabataan is the youth legislature in every local village or community. It also initiates policies, programs and projects for the development of youth in their respective political territories.
The youth have been highly encouraged to participate in politics and governance, and the Philippine government is the only nation in the world who has a mechanism of involving the youth sector in governance. This is in response to the United Nations’ Convention on the rights of children to create an avenue wherein they are engage and represent their sector towards active participation in the affairs of the government and in the country as a whole.
It was in 1975 when the first youth council was established. Former President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree (PD) 684 to announce the formal creation of the Kabataang Barangay (KB) to give the youth a chance to be involved in community affairs and provide the government means to inform the youth of its (government's) development efforts. The KB had accomplished numerous projects and programs for livelihood, sports, and culture, including the Youth Development Training program which aims to develop values of service, nationalism, and leadership among the youth to make them more productive leaders.
However, controversies and criticisms have surrounded the KB during those times, like the enforcement of authoritarian rule among the youth, opposition of militant youth activity, and the KB's failure to develop the youth as a responsive collective. Since then, the KB grew less popular among the youth and instead student activism became the trend in youth participation in the country.
In June 1986, a study was conducted on the KB and came up with the following recommendations:
- Abolish the KB;
- Create a National Youth Commission (NYC);
- Establish a National Youth Assembly; and
- Set up genuine youth representation in government.
Youth consultations were held, and the KB was at once abolished by the government and created resolutions which affirmed the suggestions by the above study. However, then-president Corazon Aquino have already established the Presidential Council for Youth Affairs (PCYA) instead of NYC, which was successful in coordinating with the youth federations to develop future national leaders, but lacked the powers the Filipino youth envisions for the NYC because PCYA merely coordinated with youth groups. A proposal wa sthen crafted by the Congress youth representatives and PCYA's technical committee in 1989 to 1990.
The proposal that created the Katipunan ng Kabataan (KK) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) that we know today was incorporated into the 1991 Local Government Code (known as Local Autonomy Law or Republic Act 7160). It formally abolished the KB and provided the youth with a new opportunity to involve themselves in government affairs through the KK and SK.
- The KK includes all Filipino citizens, age 15 to 18 years, residing in each barangay for at least six months and are registered in the official barangay list.
- The SK is the governing body of the KK, a set of youth leaders elected by the KK members to represent them and deliver youth-focused services in the barangay.
So far, there were only three SK election that have been held since 1992 because of the repeated amendments to the regular three-year term of the officials. Currently, the age range of the youth eligible for the KK and SK was reduced to 15 to below 18 due to the change in Republic Act 9164 in 2002.
Functions and significance of the SK
According to the SK Constitution, the SK is mandated to perform the following functions:
- Promulgate resolutions necessary to carry out the objectives of the youth in the barangay, in accordance with applicable provisions of the Code
- Initiate programs designed to enhance the social, political, economic, cultural, and intellectual, moral, spiritual and physical development of the mem bets
- Hold fund raising activities, the proceeds of which shall be tax exempt and shall accrue to the Sangguniang Kabataan general fund
- Create such bodies or committees necessary to effectively carry out its programs and activities
- Submit annual end-of-term reports to the Sangguniang Barangay on their projects and activities
- Consult and coordinate with all youth urganizatiuns in the barangay for policy formulation and program implementation
- Coordinate with other national government agencies concerned for the implementation of youth development projects and programs at the national level, and
- Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions as the Sangguniang Barangay may determine or delegate or as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.
The SK officials
Since 1992 up to the present, there have been three simultaneous nationwide SK elections held in the country which each term lasting from a minimum of three to five years due to amendment of the regular 3-year term limit of the council. After every poll, election of federation officers follows. The elected presidents in the municipal and city federations sit as ex-officio member in the municipal or city council respectively while the provincial president represent the youth in the provincial board. All of these ex-officio members automatically chair the council's committee on youth and sports development.
See also: Sangguniang Kabataan Chairperson
The Chairman shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Barangay upon assumption of office. As such he shall exercise the same powers, discharge the same duties and functions, and enjoy the same privileges as the regular Sangguniang Barangay member. He also serves as the chairman of the committee on youth and sports development in the Sangguniang Barangay.
The SK Secretary shall keep all records of the http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2008/0413_pimentel1.asp]] and Sangguniang Kabataan and prepare all the minutes of all meetings of the Katipunan ng Kabataan and Sangguniang Kabataan.
The SK Treasurer shall take the custody of all SK property and funds not otherwise deposited with the city or municipal treasurer and disburse funds in accordance with an approved budget of the SK, and shall submit to the SK and Sangguniang Barangay a certified and detailed statement of actual income and expenditures after every month.
They shall hold the chairpersonship of the youth council's task forces.
- The first SK councilor shall head the Green Brigade Task Force and shall have a membership of 10% of the total KK members.
- The second SK councilor shall hold chairpersonship of the Livelihood and Entrepreneurship Task Force and will have a membership of 10% of the KK members.
- The third SK councilor will hold chairpersonship of the Disaster Coordination and Health Task Force and will comprise 20% of the total KK members.
- The fourth SK councilor will head the Education Services, Morel Recovery Activities and Anti-Drug Abuse Campaign Task Force and shall have a membership of twenty percent (20%) of the KK Members;
- The fifth SK councilor shall head the Sports Program and Community Immersion Activities Task Force and will have 20% of the KK as members.
- The sixth SK councilor will head the Infrastructure Task Force and shall have a membership of ten percent
(10%) of the KK Members.
- The seventh councilor will head the Legislative Works Task Force and shall have a membership of ten percent
(10%) of the KK Members.
The proposed abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan
In a Senate press release on April 13, 2008, Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. proposed the abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan because of its failure to get the youth involved in community development.
Under Senate Bill 2155 he filed, the SK will be dissolved but the youth will continue to be represented in the Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang Panlungsod, and Sangguniang Panlalawigan. The youth representatives, however, will be elected during the regular local government elections like other local government officials. The bill also provides that "in addition to the other qualifications required of candidates to the sanggunian (council), no person shall be elected as the youth representative in every sanggunian unless he is a Filipino citizen, a resident of the barangay for at least one year and he is not more than 18 years of age at the time of his filing of certificate of candidacy or election."
To oppose Pimentel's proposal, reforms were also proposed to the SK Bill by the Congress party-list group Akbayan.
- Philippine National Youth Commission
- Sangguniang Kabataan Philippines Official Website. Accessed 15 May 2009.
- The Sangguniang Kabataan Constitution and By-Laws (PDF file). Accessed on 15 May 2009.
- Press Release - Pimentel: Abolition of Sangguniang Kabataan sought. Accessed 15 May 2009.
- Sangguniang Kabataan National Federation Multiply site. Accessed on 15 May 2009.
- SK Reform and Empowerment Bill (House Bill 959). Accessed 15 May 2009.
- About Sangguniang Kabataan. Accessed 15 May 2009.