A former Kabataang Baran-gay (KB) training director yesterday called on lawmakers to reconsider their move to defer the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections and instead totally junk youth councils.
In a weekly forum, Perry Callanta, editor-in-chief of the Northern Times, stressed that youth representation is very important. He wondered aloud why certain lawmakers like Egay Erice of Caloocan, who also rose to politics for being a KB chairman in his youth, now wanted the SK elections postponed and youth councils abolished.
Callanta recalled that KB was not the brainchild of now Ilocos Governor Imee Marcos during the dictatorial regime of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
He said it was the dictator himself in 1975 who approved the recommendation he and Ed Soliman (who later became an undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government) pushed—a program to involve the youth in government affairs must be undertaken for their welfare.
Quezon City was the pilot area, and that prompted the late dictator to sign an executive order creating Kabataang Barangay in the 42,000 barangays nationwide.
He stressed Kabataang Barangay which later became SK has a ten percent fund coming from each barangay’s share to the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) that gave the youth more muscle to exercise their functions as leaders of their community.