Sangguniang Kabataan

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Youth Council
Sangguniang Kabataan
Coat of arms or logo
Founded 1975
Disbanded 2013[1]
positions left unfilled[1]
Preceded by Kabataang Barangay
Seats 41,995 SK Chairmen
293,365 Councilors
Direct election
Last election
October 2010
Meeting place
often the barangay hall
Basketball hoop with SK logo in Barangay Tungay, Santa Barbara, Iloilo

Sangguniang Kabataan ("youth council" in English), commonly known as SK, is a council for youth in each barangay in the Philippines. It was put "on hold", but not quite abolished, prior to the 2013 barangay elections.[1] In January 2016, the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Law was signed into law which made some significant changes to the SK and schedules new elections for October 2016.[2]

The SK Chairman leads the Sangguniang Kabataan. A Local Youth Development Council (LYDC) composed of representatives of different local youth groups supports the SK and its programs.[3]

The Sangguniang Kabataan is the successor of the KB or the Kabataang Barangay (Village Youth) which was abolished by the Local Government Code of 1991. The author, Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. abolished KB because of allegations that this organization faced.[citation needed]

Function and structure[edit]

The Kagawads, or councilors, approve resolutions and appropriate money allotted to the council. The Chairman automatically sits on the barangay council as an ex officio member and is automatically chairman of the Committee on Youth and Sports, one of the standing committees of the barangay council.

The council represents youth who have resided in their barangay for at least six months and registered to vote. It leads the local youth programs.

Members of the SK receive payment for serving on the council.[4] Under the Local Government Code, only the SK Chairman receives money but in some areas the practice was that the chairman shares his payment with other members of the SK council.[4] In one barangay, each SK member received 500 pesos per month from the chairman.[4]

Local Youth Development Council[edit]

Under the 2016 reform, a new Local Youth Development Council was formed to support the SK programs and to be composed of representatives from different youth organizations in the community including student councils, church and youth faith groups, youth-serving organizations, and community-based youth groups.[3] "The LYDC aims to harmonize, broaden and strengthen all programs and initiatives of the local government and non-governmental organizations for the youth sector," said Sen. Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV, chairman of the Senate Committee on Youth and co-author of the reform act.[3]

SK Federations[edit]

Every Sangguniang Kabataan is part of a municipal or city SK association, which are in turn members of a provincial SK association. A barangay's SK Chairman represents the barangay in the municipal or city association. The presidents of the city and municipal federation are, in turn, members of the provincial or metropolitan associations, all of which have their own elected president as well. The presidents of independent cities' and provinces' associations compose the membership in the national association and elect the national president who automatically sits on the National Youth Commission.


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The SK developed out of the Kabataang Barangay, established during martial law by President Ferdinand Marcos.[4] Marcos established the KB in 1975 to give youth a chance to be involved in community affairs and to provide the government means to inform youth of the government's development efforts.[citation needed] His daughter Imee Marcos was chairman.[4]

Controversy surrounded the KB, including the enforcement of authoritarian rule among youth, opposition of militant youth activity, and the KB's failure to develop youth as a responsive collective. Since then, the KB grew less popular among youth and instead student activism became the trend in youth participation in the country. In June 1986, a study[by whom?] was conducted on the KB and came up with the following recommendations: abolish the KB; create a National Youth Commission (NYC); establish a National Youth Assembly; and set up genuine youth representation in government. Youth consultations were held[by whom?], and the KB was abolished by the government. However, then-president Corazon Aquino have already established the Presidential Council for Youth Affairs (PCYA) instead of NYC, which was successful in coordinating with the youth federations to develop future national leaders, but lacked the powers envisioned[by whom?] for the NYC because PCYA merely coordinated with youth groups. A proposal was then crafted by the Congress youth representatives and PCYA's technical committee in 1989 to 1990.

The proposal that created the Katipunan ng Kabataan (KK) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) was incorporated into the 1991 Local Government Code (known as Local Autonomy Law or Republic Act 7160). It formally abolished the KB and created the KK and SK. The KK includes all Filipino citizens, age 15 to 18 years, residing in each barangay for at least six months and are registered in the official barangay list. The SK is the governing body of the KK, a set of youth leaders elected by the KK members to represent them and deliver youth-focused services in the barangay.

The age range of the youth eligible for the KK and SK was reduced to 15 to below 18 due to the change in Republic Act 9164 in 2002.

Cajes scandal[edit]

In April 2010, Jomarie Cajes, SK National Federation President, was charged before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas in Cebu City for lack of transparency in her financial dealings and for flaunting her wealth. However, Cajes said it was a black propaganda orchestrated by their political enemies.[5] During the SK National Congress 2010 held on July 28–30, 2010 in Panglao, Bohol, the participants urged Cajes to present the financial statements.[6] The local newspapers in Bohol reported that the SK members claimed they already demanded for the financial report which Cajes failed to present. These alleged unaccounted-for funds include PhP10 million provided in 2008 by the presidential fund, PhP10 million given in 2009 by DENR, financial statement (FS) of 2008 regarding congress in Cebu, FS of 2009 congress held in Subic Bay, and FS of National Convention and launching of Sama-sama Para sa Kalikasan held in Bohol.[7] The participants also insisted that Cajes should likewise render her report on the donations coming from the Philippines Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Department of National Defense and other private donors such as The Bar.[8]

Sangguniang Kabataan reform[edit]

Infographic from the National Youth Council of the changes made by the Sangguniang Kabataan reform law.

SKs developed a poor reputation. One youth advocate said he was dissuaded from running for an SK because "Aside from the lack of concrete legislative and youth development programs, I have heard of certain issues raised against the SK like corruption, nepotism, and recurring programs focusing on sports festivals and pageantry only."[9] A 2007 study by UNICEF and the Department of Interior and Local Government said, “The SK’s performance for the past ten years has been generally weak. This is especially true in terms of coming up with legislations, promoting the development of young people, submitting reports and holding consultations with their constituents.”[9][10]

Because of concerns that the SK is a "breeding ground for political dynasty and exposing the youth to corruption and the practice of traditional politicians" known colloquially as trapos,[11][12] Republic Act No. 10632 was enacted in 2013 to (a) postpone the scheduled October 2013 SK elections until some time between October 28, 2014 and February 23, 2015 and (b) leave vacant all the SK positions until new officers are elected.[13][14] The bill explicitly prohibits the appointing of officials to fill the vacant positions.[13][14] Sen. Francis Escudero said the vacancies would technically abolish the SK.[13] During this time, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued regulations on how the barangays are to use the 10% of Internal Revenue Allotment set aside for SK activities and mandating the creation in each barangay a "Task Force on Youth Development".[1] In the place of SKs, ad hoc youth committees were formed.[15]

In January 2015, as the February 23, 2015, deadline approached for the date of the postponed elections, the Philippine House of Representatives unanimously passed a reform bill.[16] Among the reforms are the raising of the age of SK officials from between 15 and 17 years old to between 18 and 21; the raising of the age of voters from between 15 and 17 to between 15 and 21; an anti-dynasty provision that forbids candidates from having a relative in public office that is within the second degree of affinity; and provisions to increase SKs' fiscal autonomy.[16] Immediately after passing the reform bill, the Philippine House passed a bill further postponing the SK elections from February 2015 to October 2016 to be held at the same time as the barangay elections of 2016.[16] In March 2015, a law postponing the elections to 2016 was signed by President Aquino.[17]

On January 15, 2016, the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Law (Republic Act No. 10742) was signed into law which made some significant changes to the SK.[2] It changed the age of the council from 15 to 17 years old to 18 to 24 years old and it forbids individuals from seeking a youth council appointment who are closer than the second degree of consanguinity (have the same grandparents) from any elected or appointed official in the same area.[2] It is the first Philippine law with an anti-political dynasty restriction for elected positions, as permitted by the 1987 Philippine Constitution.[3] The reform also created a Local Youth Development Council to support the SK programs composed of representatives from different youth organizations in the community including student councils, church and youth faith groups, youth-serving organizations, and community-based youth groups.[3]

SK Elections[edit]

Since 1992, there have been three simultaneous nationwide SK elections held in the Philippines which each term lasting from three to five years due to amendment of the regular 3-year term of the council.

Except in 1992 and 1996 elections, Sangguniang Kabataan elections have been synchronized with the Barangay election starting in 2002, and in 2007. The term limit for Sangguniang Kabataan officials is usually three years but since the first election, there have been extension of terms ranging from one to two years more in office.


  1. ^ a b c d Catajan, Maria Elena (March 24, 2014). "NYC: Use SK funds right". SunStar Baguio. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c GOLEZ, PRINCE (January 20, 2016). "Aquino signs SK reform bill". Panay News. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Musico, Jelly F.; Reyes, Ernie (January 20, 2016). "Newly signed SK Reform Law bars gov’t officials’ relatives from running". Philippines News Agency and Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Lopez, Melissa Luz (Oct 30, 2013). "Sudden timeout for SK leaders". VERA Files on. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Bohol Standard Online Edition". Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  6. ^ "The Official Website of The Bohol Chronicle". 2010-08-01. Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  7. ^ "Bohol Sunday Post". 2010-08-01. Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  8. ^ admin on 01 August 2010 (2010-08-01). "SK national pres in hot seat anew". Bohol Times Online. Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  9. ^ a b Ladia, Charles (Sep 27, 2014). "Why the Sangguniang Kabataan needs an overhaul". Rapper. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  10. ^ “The Impact of Youth Participation in the Local Government Process: The Sangguniang Kabataan Experience" quoted in Charles Ladia's Rappler article. See citation above.
  11. ^ "SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN". City of Pasay. 
  12. ^ "Senate ratifies measure postponing SK elections". The Freeman. The Philippine Star. September 25, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d Mendez, Christina (25 September 2013). "SK polls postponed; Congress says no holdovers". Philippine Star. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Republic Act No. 10632". Official Gazette. Republic of the Philippines. October 3, 2013. 
  15. ^ Monzon, Alden M. (January 23, 2015). "Senate approves bill to postpone anew Sangguniang Kabataan polls". BusinessWorld. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c Cayabyab, Marc Jayson (January 28, 2015). "House panel OKs SK reform bill". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  17. ^ Robillos, Alyosha J. (March 26, 2015). "Sangguniang Kabataan polls moved to 2016". CNN Philippines. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 

External links[edit]