Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) federation president Jaffar Marohomsalic asked for financial independence among the youth leaders in the barangay amid the reported difficulties in accessing the SK funds.
In a privilege speech on Tuesday, Marohomsalic said among the challenges include the disbursement and issuance of checks that need to be made in the name of SK chairperson and treasurer as official signatories.
“In at least 50 Barangays, there are no appointed SK treasurer. Other barangay treasurers may refuse to assume responsibility, causing delay in the implementation of funds that delays the implementation of its programs and projects,” said Marohomsalic.
Barangays that do not have competent SK treasurers request the punong barangay to allow the barangay treasurer to disburse the SK funds instead.
“Based on the SK Reform Act of 2015, the SK council must have financial independence. We are just following the law. We want the youth to plan for the youth because we ourselves know what we must implement,” Marohomsalic said.
With the lack of financial independence, he said the SK councils could not implement projects and activities for a period of time.
“It was only until the DILG issued the information that our funds can be disbursed through barangay treasurers instead that we were able to disburse funds for our activities,” Marohomsalic said.
The DBM-DILG-NYC Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 Series of 2019 issued last Jan. 23,2019 states that 10% of the general fund of the barangay shall be set aside for the Sangguniang Kabataan.
According to Marohomsalic, the document affirms the financial independence of the SK in its operations disbursements, and encashment of their fund, income and expenditures.
However, Marohomsalic called for a more effective implementation of the memorandum to ensure that the goals of SK can be attained. Marohomsalic also raised the concern of the SK volunteers who are rendering full-time service without compensation.
“The mandate of the law to give SK financial independence in its operation cannot be fully served as the personnel assigned – the SK secretary, the SK treasurer, and the SK council members cannot be expected to work full time without corresponding compensation,” he said.
“For example, the SK treasurer, by the very nature of his function is required to be bonded, and yet, there is no existing compensation or emoluments granted to the said official. This is a burden to the SK officials, which needs to be addressed immediately,” he said.