Press Release
July 24, 2007


Senate Majority Leader Kiko Pangilinan today met with some 50 SK chairpersons who paid him a courtesy visit in the Senate to discuss SK reforms encapsulated in the SK Reform Bill. Kiko likewise commended the extension of the registration period for the SK elections to August 8, 2007, but called on COMELEC to intensify its information campaign to encourage more youth to participate in the polls.

"In the 2002 SK Elections, only 2, 507, 389 registered when we have over 20 million young Filipinos. If we are to maximize the SK elections then the COMELEC must exhaust all means to get young Filipinos interested to register and vote. The purpose of the SK is to train our youth in our democratic processes and we would like to extend this training to as many young people as possible," Kiko said.

"We regret that there is not enough information dissemination on the SK registration period or the SK election. We thus appeal to COMELEC and all other sectors to salvage the remaining time and coordinate in disseminating information on this exercise," Kiko added.

The SK leaders on the other hand are pushing for the SK Reform Bill, which seeks to empower the Katipunan ng Kabataan as a check and balance mechanism vis--vis the Sanguniang Kabataan; establish the Youth Development Council, a body comprised of youth civil society organizations in the barangay, to help the Sangguniang Kabataan create its annual youth development plan and to monitor its implementation; introduce an anti-political dynasty provision to widen access to and eliminate patronage in the Sangguniang Kabataan; promote fiscal autonomy and transparency in the use of SK funds through the direct transfer of its share in the barangay funds from the barangay council to the SK treasury and expand the age coverage of the Sangguniang Kabataan from 15-17 to 15-25 years old based on the principle of inclusion.

"It has always been our thrust to encourage the involvement of our youth in nation-building, and the SK is the broadest system for youth participation in our country. However, there remain a lot of areas for reform in the SK system and we will work closely with our young leaders in realizing these changes," Kiko ended.

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