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President Aquino signs bill reforming ‘Sangguniang Kabataan’

MALACANANG, Philippines – President Benigno S. Aquino III signed last January 15 Republic Act 10742, which reforms the Sangguniang Kabataan for meaningful youth participation in nation-building.
The Act, known as the “Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015”, calls for the creation of the Katipunan ng Kabataan in every barangay, to be composed of all citizens residing in that barangay for at least six months, who are at least 15 years old but not more than 30 years old, and who are duly registered in the list of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
The Katipunan ng Kabataan shall elect the Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson and members; and serve as the highest policymaking body to decide on matters affecting the youth in the barangay.
The law also provides for the creation of the Sangguniang Kabataan in every barangay, to be composed of a chairperson and seven members who will be elected by the registered voters of the Katipunan ng Kabataan.
The Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson, with the concurrence of the majority of the Sangguniang Kabataan members, shall appoint from among the members of the Katipunan ng Kabataan, a secretary and a treasurer.
The functions of the Sangguniang Kabataan include the crafting of a Comprehensive Barangay Youth Development Plan, which shall serve as basis in the preparation of the Annual Barangay Youth Investment Program; approve the annual budget; promulgate resolutions necessary to carry out the objectives of the youth in accordance with the Comprehensive Barangay Youth Development Plan; and coordinate efforts with the national government and private entities.
Also under the law, the Local Youth Development Council (LYDC) will be created in every province, city and municipality to ensure wide and multi-sectoral youth participation in local governance.
The LYDC will be composed of representatives of youth and youth-serving organizations in the provincial, city, and municipal levels. It will assist the planning and execution of projects and programs of the Sangguniang Kabataan.
The LYDC will be funded by their respective Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang Panlungsod, and Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
There will also be in every province, city and municipality a Youth Development Office, to be headed by a youth development officer with the rank of at least a division chief.
Republic Act 10742, a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2401 and House of Representatives Bill No. 6043, was passed by the Senate and the House on November 4, 2015 and November 11, 2015, respectively.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.