Press Release
August 30, 2016

Koko: Give the reformed SK a chance

Amidst talks of abolishing the Sanggunian Kabataan or SK, Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III made it firm that he continues to support the institution of youth representation in the country's barangays.

Koko, a former commissioner of the National Youth Commission and one of the authors of the Sanggunian Kabataan (SK) Reform Law, issued a statement saying, "We have just passed a law reforming the SK. We should first give it a chance before we entertain any discussion of abolishing the institution itself."

Recalling his advocacy for federalism, Koko said that he always advocates for representation at the lowest possible level to ensure that this representation is more reflective of the specific concerns of their constituency. "It is not enough that this sector is represented at the national level, but also at the grassroots level in all our barangays," his statement read in apparent reference to party-list groups representing the youth sector in the House of Representatives.

Although opposed to the outright abolition of the SK, Koko is not averse to more reforms in the institution. In his statement, he indicated his willingness to consider other changes to the SK, seeing it as a chance for the youth to become more involved in disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) in their barangays, which is another one of the Senate President's advocacies.

"The youth have endless potential. While admittedly, the SK has been subverted by some political elements for their own ends, it does not mean that the institution in itself is bad, only that it needs the proper mechanisms to ensure that it stays true to its goal," Koko concluded in his statement.

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