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The SK is supposed to teach the youth how to become responsible leaders and citizens.

Actually, in many cases, the organization serves just as a venue for frivolous programs and projects. It wastes a lot of money. Almost P5 billion from the internal revenue allotment of more than 42,000 barangays is allotted annually for the SK. If something concrete and good for the country has been accomplished with this huge sum of money, we have not seen it. It has taught many SK members the ways of corruption of adult politics. It reminds us of what the late Mayor Arsenio Lacson once said of a young politician, So young, and yet already so corrupt. Corollary to this, President Aquino wants the SK abolished. Balod and Gono said the President believes, as numerous critics do, that the SK has led the youth to the dark side of politics. In a sidebar (an accompanying article), Balod and Gono, citing an instance of corruption, said that in one case, 12 percent of the P120,000 cost of a street lights project of a youth council was pocketed by Santino (not his real name). This is the youth official who, if he is later elected mayor, congressman or senator, will demand millions in commissions from a contractor. In a study conducted by the UP Center for Integrative Studies in 2009, some SK respondents said they were exposed to or directly involved in questionable practices of corruption. Most SKs have no direction, no meaningful programs. Reports collected by the Sangguniang Kabataan National Federation showed that programs undertaken by the youth councils mostly included parties, beauty contests, dances and singing competitions. With wise adult advice and guidance, they could have accomplished things that would have benefited their communities more. SK councils are not required to submit financial liquidation. How is all their money being spent? Is most of it going down the drain? To be sure, not everything is negative about the Sangguniang Kabataan. For instance, Balod and Gono cite the example of Vice Governor Hemerlito Dolor of Oriental Mindoro, who started his political career in the SK. Dolor, not a member of any political clan, served at 16 as the provincial SK president. Dolor drafted the 1997 SK Constitution and by-laws and worked for the purchase of the first computers in several public schools in Mindoro. He also worked for the adoption of a resolution prohibiting local and foreign miners from extracting nickel from the town of Naujan. Balod and Gono said that Dolors political experience is one proof that SK could be a very good venue for community service and development. The study conducted by the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies showed that youth participation in local governance promotes the holistic development of the youth. It also teaches them the value of time management, responsibility, teamwork and sense of nationalism. Some SKs have not been entirely useless organizations engaged only in frivolous activities like parties and beauty contests. Some have passed no-smoking ordinances, curfew on minors, bans on chemical waste dumping and set up sports facilities for the youth. Abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan may be too drastic a proposal. A thorough legislative study should be made to correct the defects in the organization and implementation, give the movement a sense of patriotic direction and get it involved in the task of nation-building. The Sangguniang Kabataan could be reorganized and re-purposed so that it could better serve the youth and the nation. The youth are generally idealistic people who would like to see real change to happen in their country. A

reorganized, re-purposed SK movement could be a big help in President Aquinos program to reform the sociopolitical system of the country. SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN or SK is a youth organization mandated by the Local Government Code of 1991 to be formed in every barangay (Sec. 423). It is the main instrument available for young Filipinos seeking realization of new politics. It is a venue of participation of the youth in the barangay governance. SK reflects the hopes and visions of young Filipinos and addresses basically the affairs and interests of the youth. SK is composed of a chairman/chairperson, seven (7) members, a secretary, and a treasurer.

Powers and Functions of the SK (Sec. 426): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Promulgate resolutions necessary to carry out the objectives of the youth in the barangay; Initiate programs designed to enhance the social, political, economic, cultural, intellectual, moral, spiritual, and physical development of the members; Hold fund-raising activities, the proceeds of which shall be tax exempt and shall accrue to the general fund of the SK; Create such bodies or committees as it may be deem necessary to effectively carry out its programs and activities; Submit annual and end-of-term reports to the SB on their projects and activities for the survival and development of the youth in the barangay; Consult and coordinate with all youth organizations in the barangay for policy formulation and program implementation; Coordinate with the appropriate national agency for the implementation of youth development projects and programs at the national level; Exercise such other power and perform such other duties and functions as the SB may determine or delegate; and Exercise other powers and perform other duties and functions as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.

To know more about the SK Officials' Duties, Powers, and Privileges, click here. Qualifications of SK candidates: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Election Must be a citizen of the Philippines A qualified voter of the Katipunan ng Kabataan; A resident of the barangay for at least one (1) year immediately prior to election; At least fifteen (15) years but not more than twenty-one (21) years of age on the day of election; Able to read and write Filipino, English, or the local dialect; and Must not have been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude. of Sangguniang Kabataan Officials

The registered voters of the Katipunan ng Kabataan shall elect the SK Chairman and its seven (7) officials. The SK Chairman shall then automatically serve as an ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Barangay (SB) upon assumption of his/her office. SK chair shall exercise the same powers, discharge the same duties and functions, and the same privileges as the regular SB members, and shall be the chairman of the committee on youth and sports development in the said sanggunian. Election and Term of Office

The SK officials shall hold office for a period of three (3) years, unless sooner removed for a cause as provided by law, permanently incapacitated, die or resign from office.

Regular elections of the SK members shall be held one hundred twenty days (120) after the barangay elections and shall be held every three (3) years. A SK member who, during his/her term of office, have passed the age of twentyone (21) years shall be allowed to serve the remaining portion of the term for which he/she was elected. The conduct and the administration of the elections of the SK members shall be under the supervision of the Comelec. The Katipunan ng Kabataan Katipunan ng Kabataan (KK) is the assembly of the youth in the barangay. It is a mandate that every barangay shall have a KK whose primary objective is to enhance the physical, social, political, cultural, intellectual, moral and spiritual development of the youth in the country. KK is composed of all Filipinos actually residing in the barangay for at least six (6) months, who are fifteen (15) but not more than twenty-one (21) years of age, and who are duly registered in the list of the Sangguniang Kabataan or in the official barangay list in the custody of the barangay secretary. KK meets at least once every three (3) months, or at the call of the chairman of the SK, or upon written petition of at least one-twentieth (1/20) of its members, to decide on important issues affecting the youth of the barangay. Members of the Katipunan ng Kabataan are eligible to vote and be elected in the SK elections and participate in all activities. However, such participation shall be subject to the provision of the Code (LGC of 1991) and other existing laws and related rules. Congress of the Philippines Twelfth Congress REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9164 March 19, 2002 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR SYNCHRONIZED BARANGAY AND SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN ELECTIONS, AMENDING REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7160, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE "LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991", AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: Section 1. Date of Election. There shall be synchronized barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections which shall be held on July 15, 2002. Subsequent synchronized barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections shall be held on the last Monday of October and every three (3) years thereafter. Sec. 2. Term of Office. The term of office of all barangay and sangguniang kabataan officials after the effectivity of this Act shall be three (3) years. No barangay elective official shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same position: Provided, however, That the term of office shall be reckoned from the 1994 barangay elections. Voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which the elective official was elected. Section 3. Registration. For purposes of the July 15, 2002 synchronized barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections provided under this Act, a special registration of voters for the sangguniang kabataan shall be fixed by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). Subsequent registration of barangay and sangguniang kabataan voters shall be governed byRepublic Act No. 8189.

Sec. 4. Assumption of Office. The term of office of the barangay and sangguniang kabataan officials elected under this Act shall commence on August 15, 2002. The term of office of the barangay and sangguniang kabataan officials elected in subsequent elections shall commence at noon of November 30 next following their election. Sec. 5. Hold Over. All incumbent barangay officials and sangguniang kabataan officials shall remain in office unless sooner removed or suspended for cause until their successors shall have been elected and qualified. The provisions of the Omnibus Election Code relative to the failure of elections and special elections are hereby reiterated in this Act. Sec. 6. Sec. 424 of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, is hereby amended to read as follows: "Sec. 424. Katipunan ng Kabataan. The katipunan ng kabataan shall be composed of Filipino citizens actually residing in the barangay for at least six (6) months, who are fifteen (15) but less than eighteen (18) years of age on the day of the election, and who are duly registered in the list of the sangguniang kabataan or in the official barangay list in the custody of the barangay secretary." Sec. 7. Sec. 428 of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, is hereby amended to read as follows: "Sec. 428. Qualifications. An elective official of the sangguniang kabataan must be a Filipino citizen, a qualified voter of the katipunan ng kabataan, a resident of the barangay for at least one (1) year immediately prior to election, at least fifteen (15) years but less than eighteen (18) years of age on the day of the election, able to read and write Filipino, English, or the local dialect, and must not have been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude." Sec. 8. Appropriation. The amount of one billion one hundred million pesos (P1,100,000,000.00) needed for the purpose shall be charged from the appropriation of the COMELEC authorized under Republic Act No. 9162, otherwise known as the FY 2002 General Appropriations Act. In addition, the savings of the COMELEC not exceeding three hundred million pesos (P300,000,000.00) shall be used to augment said appropriations as authorized under COMELEC Special Provision No. 2 of the Republic Act No. 9162. The funds mentioned above may be augmented by an amount not exceeding ten percent (10%) of the sangguniang kabataan funds reserved pursuant to Sec. 532 (c) of Republic Act No. 7160. Section 9. Applicability of Other Election Laws. The Omnibus Election Code and other existing election laws, as far as practicable, shall apply to barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections. Sec. 10. Implementing Rules and Regulations. The COMELEC shall promulgate such rules and regulations necessary to implement this Act. Sec. 11. Separability Clause. If any provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or invalid, such sections or parts not affected thereby shall remain in full force and effect. Sec. 12. Repealing Clause. All decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations, or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. Sec. 13. Effectivity Clause. This Act shall take effect seven (7) days after its complete publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved: (Sgd)

JOSE DE VENECIA, JR. Speaker of the House of Representatives

(Sgd)

FRANKLIN M. DRILON President of the Senate This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2050 and House Bill No. 4456 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on March 11, 2002 and March 13, 2002

(Sgd)

ROBERTO P. NAZARENO Secretary General House of Representatives

(Sgd)

OSCAR G. YARES Secretary of the Senate

Approved: March 19, 2002

(Sgd)

GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO President of the Philippines

Sanggunlang Kabataan Section 423. Creation and Election (a) There shall be in every barangay aSangguniang Kabataan to be composed of a chairman, seven members, asecretary and a treasurer. (b) A Sangguniang Kabataan official who, during his term of office, shall have passed the age of twenty-one (21) years shall be allowed to serve the remaining portion of the term for which he was elected.

What is the SK?


The Sangguniang Kabataan or youth council is the governing body of theyouth assembly or Katipunan ng Kabataan of every barangay. They are elected by the members of, the Katipunan ng Kabataan in elections conducted by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

What Is the Katlpunan ng Kabataan?


The Katipunan ng Kabataan is an assembly of youths in every barangaywhose primary objective is to enhance the social, political, economic, cultural, intellectual, moral, spiritual and physical

development of the youth in the country. This is based on the mandate of the 1987 Constitution, which provides on Section 13, Article II states that the state recognizes the vital role of the Youth in nationbuilding and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.

Who may Join the Katlpunan?


All Filipino citizens at least fifteen (15) but not more than twentyone (21)years of age who are actual residents in the barangay for at least .six (6) months and registered in the Sangguniang Kabataan, or in the official list in the custody of the barangay secretary

What are the powers and functions of the Sanggunlang Kabataan?


Promulgate resolutions necessary to carry out the objectives of the youth in the barangay, in accordance with applicable provisions of the Code;Initiate programs designed to enhance the social, political, economic,cultural, and intellectual, moral, spiritual and physical development of themem bets; Hold fund raising activities, the proceeds of which shall be tax exempt and shall accrue to the Sangguniang Kabataan general fund;Create such bodies or committees necessary to effectively carry out itsprograms and activities; Submit annual end-of-term reports to the Sangguniang Barangay on their projects and activities; Consult and coordinate with all youth urganizatiuns in the barangay for policy formulation and program implementation; Coordinate with the Presidential Council fur Youths (PCYA) and other National GovernmentAgencies (NGA) concerned fur the implementation of youth developmentprojects and programs at the national level; and Exercise such other powers

and perform such other duties and functions as the Sangguniang Barangay may determine or delegate or as may be prescribed by law orordinance.

The Sanggunlang Kabataan Chairman The Chairman shall serve as an ex-officio member of the BerangayCouncil upon assumption of office. As such he shall exercise the samepowers, discharge the same duties and functions, and enjoy the same privileges as the regular Barangay Council member. He also serves as the chairman of the committee on youth and sports development in the barangay council. The Sangguniang Kabataan Secretary The SK Secretary shall keep all records of the Katlpunan ng Kabataanand Sangguniang Kabataan and prepare all the minutes of all meetingsof the Katipunan ng Kabataan and Sangguniang Kabataan. The Sangguniang Kabataan Treasurer The SK Treasurer shall take the custody of all SK property and funds nototherwise deposited with the city or municipal treasurer and disburse funds in accordance with an approved budget of the SK. Where shall the SK draw Its funds? The SK receives ten (10) percent of the general fund of the barangay(Sec.329). it can hold fund-raising activities (Sec. 426c) And it can receive contributions. (Sec. 433b) Privileges of the SK Officials The SK Chairman have-the same privileges as the other batangayofficials. During their incumbency, SK Officials are

exempted from payment of tuition and matriculation fees while enrolled in public tertiary schools, including state colleges and universities The SK Federation The SK Federation is an organization of SK chairperson. The memberselect from among themselves the president, vicepresident, and such otherofficers as may be necessary. The SK Federation President shall represent the SK in the City/Municipal Council. The City/Municipal SK Federation consists of SK chairpersons in the city or municipality. The presidents of the City and Municipal SK Fed compose the Provincial SK Federation. The elected presidents of the Provincial, City and Municipal SK Federations constitute the National SK Federation. The term of office, manner of election, removal and suspension of the officers of the Federation of the Sangguniang Kabataan at all levels shall begoverned by the constitution and by-laws of the federation in conformity with the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991 and national policies in youth. SK and the NGOs The SK is in itself the largest peoples and nongovernmental organization. While it is supported by the government, it is not a governmental agency in the real sense of the word. It has more of a civilian or private character and as such may operate with all the qualities of an NGO.

LKYP: Federation of 14 Youth Organizations The reason why we made this project is because we want to provide the youth an opportunity to get to know each other. Its

importance is to create the foundation of unity among the youth of our barangay. Dulaang SK: A Theatrical Organization We formed this in order for us to have a different type of approach incampaigning the youth and also their parents. Through stage play, the people watching are both entertained while they can internalized the message of the play. Our usual themes in this stage play are against vices, against drugs, peer pressure and other things involving youth life. Leadership Training Seminar We had this project because we want our younger youth leaders enhance their skills to become a good leader and prepared them to become the next SK officials. Theatrical Workshop This project is about giving importance to the skills and talents of our youth. Those who knows how to act, sing and dance were invited to further enhance their skills. This workshop eventually led to the creation of Dulaang SK Annual Sportsfest Basketball and Volleyball tournament are held annually. It is the activity which always gain many participants. We consistently do this project to make the summer vacation of the youth students worthwhile, challenging and fun Distribution of Clean and Green Equipments We have this project as our commitment to make our environiment clean and green with the help of the members of the youth organizations.

Upcoming Projects Barangay Library, we want to set up this project as soon as possible so we can help the students residing in our b-gay be

motivated in their studies. Computer Services, many students are in great needs for computer. Since computers are quite expensive for everyone to avail, SK Bayanan plans to set this Public Computer Room in order to enhance the computer literacy of many youths. This will also help students to save money because at present computer services are being made business.

To: Philippine Congress, the Youth, and Local Government Officials WE STAND! WE RETAIN! WE REGAIN! No to SK Abolition! Yes to SK Reformation! s I, for one, hope that youth will again revolt and again demoralize the dead weight of conformity that now lies upon us. - Howard Mumford Jones

It is enshrined in Section 13, Article II of the Philippine Constitution that [T]he State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs. In response to this constitutional provision the Congress in 1991, created the SK-Youth Council or Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) for the purpose of introducing the young people to government service in local, provincial, and national levels. Nevertheless, after sixteen (16) years of existence, many have been seriously skeptic on the importance of SK, that even President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo herself once said "I think it's a good idea," Scrap that Useless Thing, since much resources and energy were given but no result had been fulfilled. There were numerous attempts to abolish the SK, in 2002 Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Benjamin Abalos himself wanted to abolish the SK because according to him it is doing more harm than good instead of harnessing their ideals

by involving youths in their communities, exposing them to politics at such an early age only corrupts them. The issue even reached the Plenary of the 13th Congress, when Representative Gilbert Remulla filled House Bill No. 185 which tended to abolish the SK. Now, as the 2007 Barangay and SK synchronized election is coming the call for the abolition of SK is resurrected, the League of City Mayors of the Philippines (LCMP) have agreed the Sangguniang Kabataan should be abolished, saying SK officials could not divide their time between schoolwork and responsibilities in the SK, according to a top official of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines. The mayors do not openly speak [about the issue] because of political reasons, but they are for the abolition of the SK, Mayor Ramon Guico, LMP president, said. Even the countrys student governments want the abolition of the non-performing SK. They announced in their manifesto that they would launch a letter-writing campaign. Benralph Yu, president of the Region XI Federation of Student Governments, said student councils are better equipped to represent the countrys youth than the SK, that they could begin community work to make up for the vacuum opened if the SK is abolished. They viewed SK officials now as the BIMPO, stands for Batang Inudyukan ng Magulang sa POlitika or Ang Anak ng TRAPO. However, we believe that despite of the many flaws of the present structure of the SK, it is one of the most relevant youth participation in building a strong Nation, hence, we would like to propose the following for possible amendments to certain provisions of Republic Act No. 7160 (R.A. 9184) as known as the Local Government Code, Book III, Chapter 8 Sangguniang Kabataan: 1. Increase age bracket of the Katipunang Kabataan (KK) from 15 to 17 to 15-21 and age qualification bracket of SK officials to 18-21, amending Sections 424 and 248 therein. We believe that SK officials should have juridical capacity as provided in Civil Code, which is the fitness to be the subject of legal relations x x x [the] capacity to act, which is the power to do acts with legal effects, and this can be acquired once majority commences at the age of eighteen (18) years; 2. Give some degree of fiscal autonomy to the SK like those granted in other Local Government Units in order that the youth councils wont be beholden or wont be used for partisan activities by the barangay elders and the mayors. This fiscal autonomy will entail legislation for the SKs share in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to be released directly to the youth councils; 3. Increase relevant trainings of the SK which focuses on their functions as SK

officials, this can be done through coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Youth Commission (NYC), Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), National Sports Commission (NSC), and other National Government Agencies, Local Government Units (LGUs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs); 4. Provide for provisions that will depoliticize the SK, as proposed by AKBAYAN Party-List Representative Ana Theresia Hontiveros Baraquel in her House Bill No. 959, introducing the Anti-Dynasty provision as stated in Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution to avoid corruption and patronage, and 5. Support the recommendations made by the study conducted by the UP group entitled as Study on the Impact of the Youth participation in the Local Development Process: The Sangguniang Kabataan Experience.

The case against the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK)


By ANTONIO MORALES July 24, 2007 The Background The upcoming SK elections has encouraged a number of new young voters to register so they could exercise their right of suffrage. Since 1992, the SK elections have been truly training grounds for nasty electoral processes. No one can dispute the fact that it has been used as extension of the dirty politics of the local politicos. The precursor of SK is of course the Kabataang Barangay (KB) of Marcos. Under the Local Government Code of 1991 primarily authored by Nene Pimentel, a staunch nemesis of Marcos, the SK was nothing but an institutionalized KB. The Arguments Against SK I will focus my arguments against SK on the following grounds: 1. It is not necessary; 2. It is not beneficial; and, 3. It is not practical. Necessity of SK: Do we need the SK for youth empowerment? The SK is supposed to be the training ground for future leaders. The framers of the 1991 Local Government Code thought that the SK would be an excellent avenue for creating better leaders. I would say that it is not necessary for a leader to be in SK to be a good leader. It does not follow, or it is non sequitor, that once you are involved in SK that you become a better leader. Leadership training is available in far better settings like in schools, churches, or other institutions other than the government like scouting. The idea that our youth are not getting enough leadership training because there is no organization like the SK is simply hilarious. Another reason why the SK was instituted is the fact (or I would say the myth) that it could "initiate policies, programs, or projects for the development of the youth in their respective political territories." It is so good as a sound byte or as an oratorical piece but never as a blueprint for reality. The real world says that it is the local political warlords or

barangay chieftains that dictate whatever programs the SK can have to benefit them and not to benefit the youth in the area of their responsibility. More often than not, SK projects are limited to signs, basketball courts, lamp posts, flowering pots, and the like. They simply mimic what their elders can do and do not venture into projects that would truly benefit the youth. Are there reading centers or mini-libraries in their barangays? Nope. That won't be popular. Are there literacy or tutorial programs to benefit the disadvantaged? Nope. That won't be politically sound. Are there citizenship or civic training so young people could become better citizens? Nope. That won't be well attended. Are there tie-ups with the TESDA and other government institutions for technical or vocational training for young people? Nope. That would be too serious. If what the SK can do is to display in a barangay sign the names of the chairman, kagawads, secretary, and treasurer, then definitely there is no need to have an SK. The barangay council could do what they could do. Beneficiality of SK: Does our youth benefit from SK? Qui bono? Who benefits from having SK? The youth? To some extent yes but that answer should be qualified. Yes, the youth who are elected into the SK would reap the rewards but not the youth in general. In a way, it benefits those in power but not their constituents. Why? An SK kagawad or chairman receives honoraria for attending SK sessions. The SK chairman who is elected, through the help of the politicos, to become president of the municipal/city/provincial federation sits as an ex-officio member of the municipal/city/provincial council/board with all the perks and powers of a regular member of the said council/board. Qui bono? The selected few reaps the manna from the 1991 Local Government Code while the rest of the youth in their respective barangays are left in the dark. Another bunch of unscrupulous people that will benefit from the SK are the local politicos who will have a new network of political operatives from among the SK people. The SK, though apolitical by creation of law like the barangay, is simply a front of contending politicos. Politicians finance the election of their wards in the hope that the wards will deliver the votes or resources in the future when the need arises. In the end, the spirit of the law to have the youth benefit from the SK will never materialize. Only a few will benefit from the system while the majority will never be able to enjoy the very purpose of the creation of SK which is to bring good programs and projects for the youth, the fair hope of the motherland. Practicality of SK: Is it cheap to have SK? Since 1992, billions of pesos coming from scarce government resources have been spent to cover for the elections of SKs in practically all barangays in the Philippines, whether urban or rural. SK officials receive remuneration for attending SK sessions from barangay funds. SK receives a 10% apportionment from the barangay budget. With that, they spend their share for their pet projects that are not necessary, not beneficial to the youth, and simply a drain to the coffers of the government. The upcoming synchronized SK and barangay elections would cost 3 billion pesos. To say the least, it is not cheap to elect SK officials and keep their perks. Nene Pimentel, principal author of the 1991 Local Government Code, must have made a big blunder when he inserted the provisions on SK. In closing, the 15-year SK experiment should have galvanized noble members of congress to abolish the SK because it is simply not living up to its expectations. It has failed miserably. Instead of spending billions of pesos to run these mock youth councils, the government should focus on strengthening the public elementary and high schools so it could produce better leaders than what we currently have. A government run by cheats and incompetents is not a good model for training future leaders. Abolish SK! Strengthen the public schools!