THIS IS NOT the first column to be written on this matter and I bet this is not to be the last. The clamor for the abolition of the Sanguniang Kabataan crops up every so often and intensifies before barangay elections, but alas, the SK has stayed and hanged on like sticky phlegm lingering on the nation’s throat. I say this is the right time to cough it out, given a president who is sincere in cleaning up the government bureaucracy.
Nothing has done more damage to the Filipino youth’s political education and participation more than the SK. The structure was meant to give young people, who make up a big chunk of the country’s population, the opportunity to contribute to nation building. It was envisioned to be a breeding ground for future leaders, an avenue for youth empowerment.
But it has, dear karikna, disappointed, and disappointed us big time.
What youth empowerment do we see when most SK programs are merely confined to the staging of cheesy Mr. and Ms. SK events, holding of basketball leagues, construction of basketball courts and waiting sheds, and clean and green photo-operations where they would sweep the streets, plant a couple of seedlings, and pose in front of cameras as if they have reverted climate change?
Occasionally, there are some innovations. In Laoag City last February, the SK Federation held one of their biggest activities—a mixed martial arts event described by witnesses as “bloody and fierce”. It was dubbed “Suntukan sa Laoag”.
For doing just these things in addition to attending sessions where they are usually benchwarmers and sleepyheads if not perennial absentees, SK officials receive monthly honoraria and other emoluments, privileges and benefits, even free tuition fees in state universities. Continue reading