Monetary benefit for Baguio SK officials pushed

BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance authorizing the barangays to extend cash benefits in the form of honorarium to the members of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) in the amount of P500 per month.

The ordinance authored by Vice Mayor Edison R. Bilog stated that it shall be a policy of the local government to authorize the barangays to extend cash benefits in the form of honoraria to the members of the SK, particularly kagawads, secretaries and treasurers, in the amount of P500 per month to help them defray their expenses in attending meetings called for the implementation of youth-related programs and projects in the city’s barangays.

Under the proposed ordinance, the SK members shall only be entitled to the honoraria if he or she has attended the scheduled monthly meetings of the SK as provided in Section 9 of Republic Act (RA) 10742 or the SK Reform Act of 2015.

The ordinance stipulated that the concerned SK chairperson shall issue the required certification of the attendance of the SK members during the meeting which will be supported by the approved minutes of meetings as proof in claiming their honoraria as provided under the measure.

The Committee on Youth Welfare and Sports Development shall prepare the implementing rules and regulations for the implementation of the provisions of the measure and the same shall be submitted to the City Mayor and the local legislative body for perusal.

The ordinance stated that the city’s Local Finance Committee shall issue the required certificate of availability of funds for the purpose of providing the honoraria for the SK members in the barangays with SK leaders.

Section 2 of RA 10742 or the SK Reform Act expresses recognition of the State to the vital role of the youth in nation-building and promotes and protects their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social wellbeing, inculcates in them patriotism, nationalism and other desirable values, and encourages their involvement in public and civic affairs.

Further, the State shall establish adequate, effective, responsive and enabling mechanisms and support systems that will ensure the meaningful participation of the youth in local governance and nation building.

Section 12 of RA 10742 provides that only the SK chairperson shall only be entitled to a pro-rata honorarium for every session of the Sangguniang Barangay he or she has attended.

On the other hand, the other members of the SK such as the kagawads, secretaries and treasurers, however, do not receive honoraria for the services they likewise render, thus, the need for concerned local governments to look for appropriate initiatives that will justify the grant of honoraria to the other SK members to empower them to be active youth leaders in their barangays to guarantee the smooth implementation of youth-related projects, programs and activities in their places.

The ordinance was referred to the appropriate committee of the local legislative body for study and recommendation on whether the measure could be passed on second and third readings prior to being signed by the local chief executive.

By Dexter A. See

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