“I am a young king...but I am King.”
“Then be a good king, Your Majesty.”
- The Man In The Iron Mask (MGM, 1998)
Section 426 of the Local Government Code speaks of the powers and functions of the Sangguniang Kabataan. (All emphasis below are supplied.) The provisions are followed by italicized questions I hope the officers of the Sanggunian Kabataan in our barangay asked themselves when they decided to run for office.
The sangguniang kabataan shall:
(a) Promulgate resolutions necessary to carry out the objectives of the youth in the barangay in accordance with the applicable provisions of this Code;
What are my priorities as part of the youngest resolution-making body in the country?
(b) Initiate programs designed to enhance the social, political, economic, cultural, intellectual, moral, spiritual, and physical development of the members;
What projects should I propose and implement aside from the regular basketball league?
Will this waiting shed construction project satisfy this provision?
(c) Hold fund-raising activities, the proceeds of which shall be tax-exempt and shall accrue to the general fund of the sangguniang kabataan: Provided, however, That in the appropriation thereof, the specific purpose for which such activity has been held shall be first satisfied;
Are there ways to raise funds aside from concerts and street/plaza parties?
How can I fulfill this duty without forgetting my duty under letter (b)?
(d) Create such bodies or committees as it may deem necessary to effectively carry out its programs and activities;
Is it possible to create a directory of all the people aged 16-21 years in my barangay?
How would I know the right people to invite to become part of a specific committee/body?
How can I make use of technology to reach them?
How do I get in touch with those who don’t have access to the internet?
(e) Submit annual and end-of-term reports to the sangguniang barangay on their projects and activities for the survival and development of the youth in the barangay ;
How do I know if programs are successful?
How can I make sure that the constituency is apprised of the SK projects?
(f) Consult and coordinate with all youth organizations in the barangay for policy formulation and program implementation;
Are there youth organizations in my barangay?
What programs can the SK initiate in partnership with these organizations?
How can the SK encourage the youth to join and/or form organization?
How can I encourage volunteerism?
(g) Coordinate with the appropriate national agency for the implementation of youth development projects and programs at the national level;
Who are the national youth leaders I should be getting in touch with?
What are the national youth programs?
How can our SK adapt these programs in our barangay?
(h) Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions as the sangguniang barangay may determine or delegate;
What projects can we initiate with our older counterpart?
(i) Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.
How can the SK be regularly updated with relevant laws and ordinances?
What is the difference, by the way, between a resolution and an ordinance?
And, in general –
Can I change the people’s negative view of the SK?
Why did I run for this office?
Who should I appoint to slap me whenever I forget about my duties?
Who should I ask to remind me that I wasn’t elected to reiterate the same excuses generations of youth leaders have already abused?
And for those who elected them –
How can we make sure our votes – and the people’s money – are not wasted on these young politicians?
How can we make them accountable for what they do?
Am I somehow accountable, too, if I allow them to neglect their duties?
Should I just keep quiet about neglect of duties and abuse of powers?
Should I write and/or talk to them about issues I’m concerned with?
If they don’t listen, should I *wink, wink* post about their indifference on my Facebook account?