Manila Standard Today - SK reforms pushed

News & Interviews
23 January 2016

By Macon Ramos-Araneta | Manila Standard Today

Featured-image-Manila-Standard-Today.jpgSenator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos expressed hope on Friday that the reforms senators inserted in the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act will address the concerns on politicizing youth councils across the country.

Conceding that it’s difficult to say they will not be politicized in entering politics, Marcos, however, said the youth will have a free hand and better system for which they can represent the young demographics.

“The youth movement will have a representation and voice in the government. I hope the final version achieves that,” said Marcos who is running for vice president in the coming election.

The senator, chairman of the Senate local government committee, said the anti-dynasty provision in the new law provides that a child of an elected barangay official cannot run in the SK elections within the jurisdiction of his relatives.

“We are happy about that. It will apply in the next SK elections in October. We are confident that the reforms we infused will be to the benefit of the youth movement. It will provide a voice for young people in government and society,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senate President Franklin Drilon said the SK law, which contains a landmark provision prohibiting political dynasties, proves that the passage of an anti-political dynasty law is achievable in the near future.

He the new SK Reform Act or RA 10742 “is a great start towards finally realizing an Anti-Political Dynasty Law, the passage of which has been long overdue.”

“We just saw that an anti-political dynasty provision is possible, so it may not be too far-fetched for us now to work on an anti-political dynasty bill as envisioned by our Constitution,” Drilon said.

“This new law shows that there is a good chance that the Congress can pass a legislation which will execute the express policy of the 1987 Constitution on the prohibition of political dynasties,” he added.

Section 26 of the Article 2 of the 987 Constitution provides that “the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.”

Noting that the RA 1072 is the first Philippine law that in part realizes Section 26 of the Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution –which prohibits political dynasties, Drilon said that shielding the country’s youth- oriented government posts from the influence of political dynasties was an important and necessary important electoral reform.

“Considering the sensitive and formative nature of the Sangguniang Kabataan in training future leaders across this nation, it is only apt that we remove them from the undemocratic aspects of public service in this country,” Drilon said.