Technology, transparency, and the SK
MANILA, Philippines – The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) was again thrust into the headlines as Congress moved to postpone the SK and barangay elections for another year.
Legislators said the executive department needs more time to complete the presidential appointments, while President Rodrigo Duterte said drug money might influence the polls.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez even wants to abolish the barangay and SK councils because of corruption.
This distrust on the SK has prompted 3 young Filipinos to create "Project Transparency and Accountability in the Sangguniang Kabataan (TASK)," a collaborative initiative between the government and civil society to “ensure the SK delivers its mandates to the youth.”
Project TASK, a brainchild of Marian Fabian, Marco Zaplan, and Karla Yu, was the winning project pitch during the Accountability and Governance #HackSociety mini-workshop at the Social Good Summit on Saturday, September 24.
“[We want to] try to change the concept or ‘yung perception ng kabataan sa SK (perception of the youth on the SK) and try to empower them to engage more with the SK… [In the] long term, we are trying to develop future leaders and government officials. Those in the SK now, in the future, will be our future government officials,” said Zaplan.
Project TASK has 3 components:
- Capacity-building on the SK Reform Law, wherein the group would collaborate with the Department of Budget and Management, the National Youth Commission, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to hold capacity-building activities for concerned sectors involved in the implementation of the law (READ: What’s in the new Sangguniang Kabataan?)
- An integrated communication mechanism, which involves a website, e-mail address, and social networking site groups and pages where the public can easily gain access to documents, announcements, updates from the SK
- SK Transparency Portal, an “online disclosure portal” that would require every SK chapter to post their plans and financial documents online
The goal, said Zaplan, is to use the 3-pronged approach to make the 15- to 30-year-olds more aware about the SK's activities, encouraging them to become more involved in its affairs.
Fabian added that their project remains timely given the impending postponement of the SK and barangay polls.
“Ang dami kasing provisions on FOI (Freedom of Information), anti-political dynasty provision, so maraming ganun (There are provisions in the law involving FOI and the anti-political dynasty provision). Actually, the end goal also is to capacitate the youth to scrutinize more their youth candidates by next year,” she said. – Rappler.com