By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV on Thursday urged the youth who wish to enter public service to grab the opportunity and run in the upcoming Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections this May.
Aquino said the youth can make a positive impact in their communities by running in the upcoming local polls which would be held simultaneously with the barangay (village) elections.
“We are encouraging our youths who wish to serve their communities and the nation to run under the new and reformed SK,” Aquino said.
“This is our youth’s chance to serve and provide solutions to the problems in our community,” he said.
It was Aquino who pushed for the passage of Republic Act 10742 or the SK Reform Act as co-sponsor and co-author during his term as chairman of the Senate committee on youth in the 16th Congress.
The filing of the certificate of candidacy is from April 14-20. After repeated postponements, the election will finally be held on May 14.
The SK Reform Act adjusts the age limit for youth officials from 15-17 to 18-24 years old, making them legally capable of entering into contracts and be held accountable and liable for their actions.
The new law also requires SK officials to undergo leadership training seminars to expose them to the best practices in governance and guide their development as leaders.
The new law also mandates the creation of the Local Youth Development Council (LYDC), which would be composed of representatives from the different youth organizations in the community—student councils, church and youth faith groups, youth-serving organizations, and community-based youth groups.
The Council will support the SK and ensure the participation of more youth through youth organizations.
More importantly, Aquino said the SK Reform Act has the distinction of being the first law in the country with an anti-political dynasty provision.
He said the law specifically prohibits relatives of elected officials up to second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity from seeking SK posts.