BUCKING calls to abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan, Senator Bam Aquino proposed that officials of the youth organization be compensated in order to shield the young leaders from corruption.
In his Senate Bill No. 2140, or the Act Providing Compensation to Sangguniang Kabataan Officials, Aquino said that the proposal for just compensation seeks to ensure that SK officials are free from partisan politics.
“Providing regular compensation for SK officials through the law will ensure that our youth leaders will not be dependent nor feel indebted to local government officials and politicians for resources and support,” Aquino explained.
Under the bill, the SK secretary and treasurer will be entitled to compensation and allowances equivalent to three-fourths (3/4) of the monthly allowance received by the Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson.
On the other hand, the other SK officials will be entitled to P500 per month in addition to any other compensation provided by this act.
The honorarium will be granted at the end of every regular monthly SK meeting, provided that the official is present during the meeting.
The current law does not provide monetary compensation for the SK secretary, treasurer and other officials. They are, however, exempted from paying tuition and matriculation fees in any public tertiary schools, including state colleges and universities as well as locally funded educational institutions; and are provided with Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) coverage.
They are also exempted from taking the National Service Training Program-Civic Welfare Training Service (NSTP-CWTS) subjects, excused from attending regular classes, if currently enrolled in school, while attending the regular or special SK meetings and the sangguniang barangay sessions; and entitled to travel reimbursements as may be authorized by law and subject to the availability of funds.
Under Republic Act No. 10742, also known as the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015, the SK chairperson automatically serves as an ex-officio member of the sangguniang barangay upon assumption to office and as such enjoys the same privileges as regular sangguniang barangay members.