The SK Election
The country just recently observed the barangay and SK elections last Monday, October 25, 2010. The SK serves as an avenue to teach the youth how to become responsible leaders and citizens. But majority of our people want it abolished as many believed that the SK has led the youth to the dark and dirty side of politics.
Almost ? 5 Billion from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of some 42,000 barangays in the country is allotted annually for the SK and SK councils are not compelled to submit financial liquidations. The closest thing to a financial report is submitted to the brgy. chairman. The SK’s lack of financial transparency is reflected in the federation’s collection of annual dues, the main source of income of the federations. Programs initiated by youth councils include parties, dance and singing competitions and feeding programs. The performance of most SK councils remains vague and misdirected. Critics believe that the SK has been given sufficient time to show its worth and yet it has proven itself ineffective.
Corruption and deregulation and inefficiency in governance are some of the major basis for calls for the SK’s abolition. The SK chairman is so young and yet already exposed to corruption in government. One SK chairman admitted that 12% of the project cost of the SK was pocketed by him as a “reward” from the supplier. He described this as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in the barangay. The requested budget for the project would not have been released without the approval of the barangay chairman. The SOP is often exclusive to 3 major players, the supplier, the SK chairman and the barangay chairman. The SK members are exposed to or directly involved in questionable practices of corruption.
Even President Aquino wants the SK abolished and should be replaced with another scheme of youth representation. Almost two decades after the SK was established, most SK members are unable to perform their duties. There is a lot of wastage and money and most important, they are exposed early to corruption.
So young, so corrupt.
By: Joey E. Clarin
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