MANILA The Senate Committee on Youth on Monday approved a bill seeking to give allowances to elected Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials in the country to encourage young Filipinos to take part in governance.
Senate Bill 2124 would amend the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Act of 2015 to provide monthly allowances or honoraria to SK members, secretaries and treasurers.
Under the current law, only SK chairpersons receive allowances.
"The issue of honoraria or in this case, the lack of it, has been cited as one of the main reasons why fewer people want to join the SK," Senate Committee on Youth chair Sonny Angara said in a statement.
"We recognize the importance of getting the youth involved in local governance and how this experience contributes to their development as future leaders, so we should provide them with all the support we can give," he said.
The honoraria would be sourced from the SK's annual funding, and may be augmented by the local government units through the issuance of ordinances.
"The bill also grants additional privileges to the SK officials including their entitlement to appropriate Civil Service Eligibility, provided that the concerned officials have rendered full terms of office," Angara's statement read.
Aside from the granting of honoraria, the bill also limits the use of SK funds to the following projects:
- student stipends
- book and education allowances
- sports and wellness projects
- skills training
- OJT assistance
- livelihood assistance
- environment conservation
- calamity preparedness
Up to 15 percent of the SK funds must be used for the mandatory and continuing training of SK officials and members, according to the bill.
"The SK, appropriately reformed and capacitated, remains relevant and much-needed," Angara said.
"The youth should be given a place in the everyday business of building our nation and serving our people," he added.