SENATOR JV Ejercito pushes for reforms in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) organization to make it more responsive and appropriate to present times.

During the hearing of the Senate committee on local government, Ejercito admitted that the current SK system is flawed and it did not live up to expectation and its purpose.

Under Ejercito’s proposed Senate Bill 68, otherwise known as the Sangguniang Kabataan Empowerment Act of 2013,  the age bracket for SK members will be adjusted to 18-25, from theexisting 15-17.

“With the present age bracket, the SK is vulnerable to abuse. Hindi lamang po ng gobernador, mayor o barangay, madalas po ’yung magulang mismo ang umaabuso sa kanilang anak. Kaya po marapat lamang ’‘yung age bracket itaas po natin from 15 to 17, gawin nating 18 to 25, dahil sa tingin ko naman ’yung edad na 18 to 25 they will be more politically aware, they will be more responsible and they will have the legal personality to sign documents. They will no longer be beholden to the officials,” he added.

Ejercito pointed out that abolishing the SK without alternative structures would only mean disservice to the youth.

“Ang kabataan ay hindi dapat manatiling pag-asa ng bayan, sila ay dapat ‘maaasahan,’” Senator Ejercito pointed out.