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SK Reform law ‘gift’ to new admin - Salceda

By Connie Calipay

Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Sarte Salceda on May 17 thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for signing Republic Act No. 11768 or the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Governance Reforms and Compensation Law, calling the new measure a “gift” to the next administration.

“The law will provide the SK with a framework for reimagining the role of youth governance in skills development, youth employment, and learning,” Salceda said in a statement.

Salceda, chair of the House Ways and Means committee, is the principal author and sponsor of the bill. He said the SK has a critical role to play in addressing massive youth-specific concerns.

“So, we expanded their mandate and range of covered programs to include skills trainings, on-the-job training and livelihood assistance, educational assistance, and other productive programs,” he added.

“We are also expanding their role by institutionalizing youth governance in the local government unit (LGU) level, and having SK Representatives for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in the National Youth Commission. We are also making the SK more accountable by making them subject to standard government accounting and audit rules,” he said.

Salceda noted that with increased accountability and responsibilities, extending compensation to the SK kagawads, treasurers, and secretaries will hopefully professionalize them.

“The SK is no longer the broken institution it used to be known as. It is improving, after the SK Reform Act, which makes it the only institution in the country where political dynasties are banned by law.”

Young people aged 15 to 30 account for some 19 percent of the Philippine population, the largest chunk of the labor force.

“So, the youth have a crucial role in economic recovery. We can’t have them unrepresented in governance. That’s why a functioning, professional SK is critical. The next administration will benefit immensely from a working SK.”

Salceda released the statement in response to the enactment of the measure, which Duterte signed on May 6.

Meanwhile, Salceda also received the 1st House of Representative Exponents of Responsive and Outstanding Engagement in Science (HEROES) Award of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) at the Marison Hotel in Legazpi City.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Pena, in his message, said the award was given to Salceda for his significant efforts and legislative contributions to Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) and other programs and projects of the department.

“DOST is grateful for his active support which significantly contributed to the enactment of landmark STI laws during the 17th and 18th Congress,” he said. (PNA)


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