After more than four years of vacuum in Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), a new set of youth leaders will be elected on May 14 who are now required by law to participate in a mandatory training by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and National Youth Commission (NYC).
DILG Spokesperson Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said in a joint press conference on Wednesday with the NYC and Commission on Elections (Comelec) that the DILG has released guidelines regarding the implementation of the SK mandatory and continuing training programs to be jointly implemented by the DILG and NYC.
“For the first time in the history of SK, a mandatory training program must be participated in by elected SK officials before he or she can assume office,” he said.
“Non-attendance to the training without any valid reason shall be considered as an instance of deliberate failure to attend shall constitute sufficient ground to disqualify SK officials or subject them to disciplinary actions as per Section 27 of the SK Reform Act,” he pointed out.
The SK mandatory training will run on May 17 to 26 covering modules on decentralization and local governance, SK history and salient features, how to conduct meetings and craft resolutions, how to do planning and budgeting, and code of conduct and ethical standards of a public official.
Malaya said the training fee for an SK official will not exceed P2,000 which is chargeable against a barangay's 10 percent SK Funds.
“We are hoping that this training will equip our youth leaders with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their functions well,” he said.
The conduct of the SK mandatory training is in line with the pilot implementation of the SK Reform Act or Republic Act No. 10742.
NYC Assistant Secretary Rhea Penaflor said, “The implementation of the SK mandatory training will be strictly done. We mean business. An SK winning candidate cannot run an office without proper knowledge and skills.”
The filing of certificates of candidacy for the SK as well as barangay elections is on April 14 to 20, 2018. The election period also starts on April 14 and ends on May 21.
Submission of resume
Malaya reiterated the DILG’s support to the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL)’s proposal to Comelec to urge candidates of barangay and SK elections to submit a resume upon filing COC or during candidates’ election campaign activities.
“The DILG will not set a template or format. It’s up to the SK and barangay candidates what they will disclose to the public. The point is it will be a proof of their fitness and capacity to lead. It’s also part of voter’s education and selection of who to give their vote to,” he said.
Comelec Spokesperson Director James Arthur Jimenez said this could be done but on a voluntary basis since it is not a requirement to run for elective post under the Constitution.
“The DILG and NYC are far more proactive now in the barangay and SK elections than they have been for quite some time now in terms of voter’s education campaign. It’s a massive development. We just don’t want to trip up with legal technicalities. But in terms of the resume proposal, it can be done on a voluntary basis,” said Jimenez.
Malaya reminded the DILG’s call to the public to vote wisely and choose candidates who are matino, mahusay at maaasahan (accountable, skillful, and reliable).