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SK officials granted perks

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President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a law granting all Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) members a monthly honorarium and other privileges.

Duterte on 6 May inked Republic Act (RA) 11758, which states that SK officials should receive a monthly honorarium chargeable to the SK funds. Copies of the law were sent to the media on Tuesday.

The amount should not exceed the monthly compensation received by the SK chairperson, and not more than 25 percent of the SK funds would be allocated for personnel services, according to the measure.

“The local government units may provide an additional honorarium, as well as social welfare contributions and hazard pay to the Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson and the elected and appointed members through their own local ordinances,” Duterte said.

Their honorarium would be subjected to the post-audit jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit, he added.

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.

A certification of attendance should be issued by the SK secretary, attested by the SK chairperson, duly noted by the barangay chair, and submitted to the concerned faculty member.

“Any person who shall falsely certify as to the attendance of any Sangguniang Kabataan official shall be criminally and administratively liable,” Duterte said.

Meanwhile, the law stated that 10 percent of the general funds of barangays should be set aside for the SK to be disbursed for youth development and empowerment purposes
All SK funds should be allocated in an annual budget, and if the funds allow, in a supplemental budget in accordance with the adopted annual barangay investment program, it said.

Both the Comprehensive Barangay Youth Development Plan and Annual Barangay Investment Program should prioritize projects and activities on health, education, environment, global mobility, active citizenship, governance, social equity and inclusion, and peace-building and security, according to RA 11758.

The SK may set aside an amount for the mandatory and continuing training of its officials, but it should not be more than 15 percent of the SK fund.

Officials may also consult with non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations accredited by the National Youth Commission in the development of mandatory programs and training.

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