BOKOD, Benguet – The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR) unanimously passed a resolution requesting the central offices of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Commission on Audit (COA) to craft guidelines authorizing the different Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) barangay councils to charge from existing SK funds the honoraria for other SK officials aside from the SK chairpersons.
The passage of the resolution was initiated by Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan who asserted that it is unfair for other SK officials such as secretaries, treasurers and kagawads not to receive honoraria when they are being mandated to perform various duties and responsibilities to actively promote the welfare of the youth in their barangays.
Although it is explicitly provided in Republic Act (RA) 10742 or the SK Reform Act of 215 that it is only the SK chairperson that will be entitled to receive honoraria from the barangays concerned, Domogan, who chairs both the RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR), underscored it is also imperative to find ways and means to grant at least minimal honoraria to the SK kagawads, secretaries and treasurers because they are also performing equally important duties and responsibilities as youth leaders in their barangays.
He shared that based on his talks with the different SK leaders in the city, a good number of the youth leaders did not spire to become SK officials in their barangays because of the alleged absence of minimal monetary benefits that will allow them to defray even their transportation cost when attending meetings, thus, the need for concerned government agencies to find how to authorize the grant of honoraria to other SK officials to empower the youth to become active leaders in their barangays.
According to him, the law mandates the allocation of 10 percent of barangay budgets purposely for the implementation of SK programs and projects and the honoraria to be granted to other SK officials can be sourced from the said fund provided that appropriate guidelines be issued by the concerned government agencies to govern the grant of honoraria to other SK officials in the barangays considering the availability of funds for the purpose.
He pointed out that there are more active SK kagawads in the different barangays round the region who deserve the needed compensation for the exemplary services that they perform in their barangays while there are some SK chairpersons who seem not to be as active as other youth leaders, thus, there is unequal treatment for similar responsibilities and one immediate remedy is for relevant government agencies to authorize the charging of the honoraria of SK officials from existing SK funds to address the lack of compensation of other SK officials.
The approved joint RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR resolution will be transmitted to the DILG and COA central offices for immediate action considering that SK officials around the region are awaiting positive action from the concerned government agencies considering the enormous duties and responsibilities that are being demanded from them by barangay officials.
By Dexter A. See