All Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) members are now entitled to a monthly honorarium and other privileges after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11758, which states that SK officials should receive a monthly honorarium chargeable to the village-level youth organization’s funds.
Duterte signed the law to expand the functions of the SK and revitalize the youth’s participation in local governance.
The President also signed three other measures—on foundlings, firearms licenses, and cybercrime—into law, while issuing an executive order transferring control of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) from the Office of the President back to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Republic Act (RA) 11768, signed by Duterte on May 6, directs the formulation of internal rules and procedures within 60 days from the assumption of SK officials to office.
Under the measure, all SK members, including the treasurer and secretary, should receive a monthly honorarium at the end of every regular monthly SK meeting, provided that it should not exceed 25 percent of the SK’s funds and should not exceed the compensation received by the SK chairperson.
Their respective local government units may also provide additional pay and social welfare contributions and hazard allowance to the SK chairperson and other elected and appointed members of the youth council through local ordinances.
Their honorarium would be subject to the post-audit jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit.
Duterte directed the Department of Budget and Management to issue the necessary guidelines for the law’s implementation.
Based on RA 11758, elected and appointed SK officials were also exempted from taking any components of the National Service Training Program during their incumbency.
They were also excused from attending regular classes during the conduct of regular or special SK meetings.
Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, chairman of the House of Representatives committee on ways and means on Tuesday thanked President Duterte for signing the new law, saying it was “vital to reimagining the role of the SK in skills development, youth employment, and learning.”
“We have a massive learning gap that by some estimates could result in as much as P41.4 trillion in productivity losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and school shutdowns,” Salceda said.
“We also have an existing skills mismatch. By my estimates, you have 2.4 million existing and potential jobs that could be filled if only we had the skill set required for them. Finally, you have high youth unemployment, at 13.4 percent, more than double the 6.4 percent national average,” the lawmaker added.
“The SK has a critical role to play in addressing these massive youth-specific concerns. So, we expanded their mandate and range of covered programs to include skills training, on-the-job training and livelihood assistance, educational assistance, and other productive programs.”