By: Assistant Sec. Rhea B. Peñaflor
(The author is a commissioner of the National Youth Commission representing the Visayas and an Ilongga)
REPUBLIC ACT 10742 otherwise known as the “Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015” underscored the significant role of the Local Youth Development Officers (LYDOs) in the upcoming SK elections. True to its mandate to the Filipino youth in enabling them to fulfill their vital role in nation-building, the National Youth Commission (NYC) through series of LYDO strengthening trainings have capacitated the LYDOs in the whole country to be able to prepare themselves to the functions enumerated under the new SK law especially in conducting the SK Mandatory Training to SK officials.
Rule IV, Sec.26 (d) of RA 10742 IRR provides for the functions of LYDOs, to wit:
(1) Register and verify youth and youth-serving organizations (Subject to the National Youth Commission’s (NYC) revitalized Youth Organizations’ Registration Program (YORP) guidelines);
(2) Provide technical assistance to the LYDC of the concerned LGU in the formulation of the Local Youth Development Plan (LYDP);
(3) Facilitate the election of the Local Youth Development Council (LYDC) representatives;
(4) Serve as secretariat to the LYDC;
(5) Conduct the mandatory and continuing training of SK officials and LYDC members, in accordance with the programs jointly designed and implemented by NYC and the DILG;
(6) Provide technical, logistical and other support in the conduct of the mandatory and continuing training programs, and to such other programs of the NYC and DILG;
(7) Coordinate with NYC, with regard to the youth programs within their jurisdiction; and
(8) Perform such other functions as may be prescribed by law, ordinance, or as the LCE, the DILG or the Commission may require.
The most relevant function of the LYDOs in the upcoming SK elections is the conduct of SKMT where the LYDOs will help ensure the active and meaningful participation of our youth leaders or the SK officials in local and national governance. This is because the LYDOs will be SK officials’ lead resource person and they will serve as mentors of these SK officials when it comes to youth development.
The gap right now is, there are still Local Government Units (LGUs) that have not appointed its LYDO or that the local chief executive (LCE) has not yet designated one despite the law is clear in stating, “the LCE shall create this office or designate the person within seven months from the approval of SK Reform Act.” The same was approved on January 15, 2016, and the IRR was approved on July 5, 2016.
That is why DILG issued MC 2017-36 on February 24, 2017, directing all provincial governors, city, and municipal mayors to create their LYDO within their areas of jurisdiction. This is our continuous call to all local chief executives who have not yet created the LYDO. The creation of the office is crucial especially that the SK officials will soon be assuming office. The NYC is appealing to our LCEs to kindly ensure that you have an LYDO in your respective LGUs.
On April 5, 2018, DILG released MC 2018-48 or “Guidelines in the Conduct of SK Mandatory Training (SKMT)” highlighting Section 27 of RA 10742 where deliberate failure to attend the SK Mandatory Training shall constitute sufficient ground to disqualify said SK official or Local Youth Development Council (LYDC) member or subject them to disciplinary actions. Hence, any SK official, whether elected or appointed or any member of the LYDC must undergo the mandatory training programs before he or she can assume office.
In the conduct of SKMT, management teams shall be constituted at the Regional and Provincial/City levels where an LYDO representative is one of its team members together with DILG-LGRRC Manager as the Chair, NYC representative, service providers in the region and Leagues of the local government representative. The primary role of the management team is to plan the effective roll-out/implementation of SKMT.
On the part of NYC, we have already developed and printed the SK Operations Manual for the upcoming SKMT in order to guide our SK officials in understanding and performing their roles and functions as key leaders in youth development.
We have designed the Operations Manual to provide a clear and easy to understand process guide that will help SK officials to effectively and efficiently execute the day-to-day operation of the organization, identify the expected output of SK officials to guide them in achieving their mandated functions and instill social, moral, and ethical responsibility and accountability among SK officials.
It is also worthy to note that in the new SK law, one of the qualifications of the SK Official is reaching the majority age or 18 years old making him liable for his actions as this is likewise provided for under the Civil Code of the Philippines in Article 37 defining the “Capacity to act, which is the power to do acts with legal effect.”
NYC has likewise developed a “Facilitators Guide” to ensure that the Sangguniang Kabataan Mandatory Training Modules standards are strictly followed by training managers and facilitators. It is our goal that the LYDOs understand the design of the Mandatory Training program and devote sufficient time and effort to master the content of the modules with the following topics: Module 1: Session 1 Decentralization and Local Governance; Module 1: Session 2 SK History and Salient Features; Module 2: Session 1 Meetings and Resolutions; Module 2: Session 2 Planning and Budgeting; and Module 3: Session 1 Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards.
We believe that our LYDOs play a significant role in educating our soon-to-be SK officials under the new SK law, their roles on youth development, good governance and their contribution to nation-building.
We are excited and we are hopeful for the Filipino youth.
Mabuhay ang Kabataang Pilipino!