Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos has signed DILG Memorandum Circular 2023-167, which bans the appointment of Sangguniang Kabataan secretaries and treasurers within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity of any public official.
As a result, the appointed SK personnel should not be related to any incumbent elected national, regional, provincial, city, municipal, or barangay official in the locality.
“This appointment will mirror the SK officials’ credibility and will be a precedent to their leadership. Relatives are not allowed to be appointed as SK secretary and treasurer,” Abalos said.
The memorandum also outlined the guidelines that assist SK officials in selecting a qualified secretary or treasurer. The appointee should be a resident of the barangay for not less than one year, able to read and write in Filipino, English, and the local dialect, and must not have been convicted by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude.
Further, the SK treasurer should have educational background in business administration, bookkeeping, or similar courses.
Also, the appointed treasurer and secretary must undergo the mandatory training program, including bookkeeping, before they can assume office. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority will facilitate their training.
If the goal is to get the SK off on the right foot, then the DILG memorandum hopefully helps. By banning the appointment of relatives, along with those connected to budding political dynasties, the SK could be able to achieve its purpose of training the next generation of elected leaders, especially in where it matters, which is in choosing the right people when it comes to appointments.
The emphasis on training is also noteworthy and should be applied to both winners and their appointees, from the SK all the way up to local and national posts, because governance is no joke and rigid standards and expectations should apply to all government officials, whether elected or appointed.
If the DILG can somehow find the determination and resources to enforce these well-meaning rules for the SK, which is supposed to be where idealism and love for public service is nurtured instead of being corrupted by self-serving interests of politicos, it could go a long way in improving and promoting good governance while it is still early.
And if by some miracle the DILG is successful in cultivating a better breed of Filipino politicians through these efforts, perhaps we can see it expand the initiatives to the adult ones who are already set in their ways and tricks for perpetuating themselves in power.
After all, can’t Filipinos dream that the system they are losing faith in with every passing election season can still be restored by the youth?*