Sunday, April 14, 2024

Is the SK really for you?

By Reychemver C. Credo | September 2, 2023

Strengthened through Republic Act 11768, the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK)  provides a critical link between Filipino youth and local governance. One of the primary intentions of the SK is to develop future leaders. 

The road, however, is fraught with difficulties. Running for an SK position and deserving it requires young people to reflect, assess, and rise to the occasion. It is why those who are considering it typically hesitate.

I firmly believe that the SK is not a playground for ambitions but a stage for works in progress. Hence, SK contenders are those who have walked the talk long before election season. They have rolled up their sleeves in volunteer projects, actively listened to the concerns of their peers, functioned passionately to advocate or support causes, and worked tirelessly to help solve issues—at least at the barangay level. They have been more than merely involved; they have led by example. They deserve SK roles because they have already established themselves as trustworthy neighborhood members.

Conversely, some only see SK positions as a means to an end: more power for themselves. They do what they do because they are motivated by the charm of authority, the need to add a flashy accomplishment to their resume, or the chase of whatever quantifiable personal gain. Sometimes, this leads them to make choices that put their own needs ahead of those of the community, which is a clear sign that they have strayed from a path of unpretentious service.

For some young aspirants, vying for an SK post is less of a free-form decision and more of a family tradition. They feel an inherent pressure to carry the torch since they were raised in the shadow of a long succession of politicians—or the mere invite of a family friend, a distant uncle, or an influential acquaintance—which precisely turns a blind eye to the lines of authenticity, commitment, and merit. While it is essential to acknowledge family and connections’ role in the giant Filipino political chess game, the capacity to succeed despite these edges is the test that determines whether someone deserves the position or is simply following someone else’s script.

Separately, gone should be people’s mere expectation of the SK being limited to staging recreational activities. It is not unusual to witness SK officials organizing sports events like basketball tournaments and talent shows with much enthusiasm. While these activities are great for bringing the youth together and keeping them entertained, they may only be scratching the surface when meeting the youth’s deep needs. The SK’s actual function goes well beyond the sphere of leisure. That means incorporating fun with the substantive.

Ultimately, the crux of the matter is whether or not these candidates have a genuine passion for the issues they are campaigning on. Candidates lacking this expectation should take a step back and consider whether they are genuinely qualified for the position they seek. It indicates that they may need more time and effort to invest in themselves and, in turn, the youth they aim to represent until 2025.

Reychemver C. Credo is a first-year Juris Doctor student at the College of Law. When not poring over his assigned readings, he writes random thoughts on his Facebook wall and tickles the funny bones of his friends who resonate with his natural sarcasm, humor, and wit. 

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