Expanded SK bill to empower, professionalize youth officials

By Connie Calipay

Members of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) in Albay’s 2nd District are hopeful that House Bill (HB) 10698 that will grant kagawad (councilors) honoraria and appropriate certificates of civil service eligibility will be enacted into law.


The bill, which will expand the functions of SK councilors to include skills training, youth employment, environmental protection, values education, and other programs specific to the vulnerabilities affecting young people, hurdled second reading in January


In an interview, Rodel Padilla, 27, the incumbent SK chairman in Camalig town, said the measure will make councilors more functional.


“If the bill will be [signed] into law, SK officials will be more obligated to do their jobs efficiently and actively given that they will be receiving honorariums,” Padilla said.


SK councilor Giovanni Mancera, 21, is hopeful about the bill.


“As an SK councilor working in our village for almost four years now, I am glad for us to receive this kind of assistance in exchange for our service to the public especially to our fellow youths. Therefore, I am hoping that this bill will be passed into law this year,” Mancera said.


Meanwhile, Jodilyn Manrique, 21, an SK treasurer thanked lawmakers, including bill author and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda for their support for SK officials.


“As an appointed SK treasurer in our barangay, I am glad to know that our government acknowledges the service we give to the community by providing this kind of act,” she said.


Under the bill, SK councilors, including appointed treasurers and secretaries, will receive honoraria and other benefits such as Philippine Health Insurance Corporation premium contribution and exemption from any components of National Service Training Programs-Civic Welfare Training Service in schools.


“The main concept of HB 10698 is for the empowerment and professionalization of the SK,” Cong. Joey Salceda said during an information caravan on recently at Legazpi City Convention Center in Albay. (PNA/With a report from Eliakim Neric-OJT)