Neophyte solon wants to raise SK age requirement to 18

February 21, 2011 11:14 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 21 — A neophyte lawmaker has proposed to increase the age requirement of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) members from 15-17 to 18-25 years old to make them more responsive to their tasks and challenges.

In a privilege speech, San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito said the present law on the SK is bereft of measures and mechanisms that will shield the youth from corruption, manipulation and influence by some politicians.

"The 18-25 age requirement is the age wherein a person has reached a certain level of maturity and capability in taking on responsibilities," he said.

Under the present law, SK members must be within the age range of 15-17 years old.

"It is sad to note that our youth, in their young age, have been exposed by their elders to the dirty side of politics. I can't just stand by the wayside and watch our crooked politicians and even their own parents use the young for their own, selfish interests," the San Juan solon said.

Ejercito said that during his term as San Juan City mayor for nine consecutive years, he never intervened, meddled with or influenced the outcome of the SK elections from the barangay up to the city level.

"Even my own mother (Actress Guia Gomez), the incumbent San Juan City mayor, had never intervened in the Barangay and SK elections," he said.

Ejercito said that youths should be "totally free from dirty and traditional politics. They should be shielded from the influence of partisan politics and practices of political patronage."

"That is why, the SK (members) by themselves cannot enter into contracts and agreements nor have the required maturity of taking the responsibility for governance and participation in community activities and in nation-building," he said.

At such ages, the San Juan lawmaker said, SK members "have hardly any political maturity and studies should actually be their main priority." (PNA)

DCT/scs/LGI

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