In a certain barangay, there are officials who, in their own limited power, keep the peace and maintain privacy in their neighborhood. These men and women--the Kapitans and Kagawads--are essential for this task. They also have a youth arm: the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK). Their role is uncertain and unknown based on social knowledge. But basically, they should be the voices of the youth in their barangay and the role models of their generation.
But is it still working?
What happens now is that people engaging in politics at their young age end up politicians or wasted people; based on the circumstances. What happens is that the members of the SK in almost all barangays in the country are mere figureheads and unsung, trying-hard personality wannabes whose functions are either disregarded, used for formality, or not essential in the community.
On the other side of the coin, the Church, particularly in most parishes in the Philippines, is booming with young blood who are already serving Christ with their gifts and skills: particularly as choir members and Altar Knights. Some take it further: the two factions of the group Couples for Christ (the Gawad Kalinga arm and the Foundation for Family and Life) established their own youth groups, who are interested to imitate the Lord in terms of chastity among others; without compromising their trends and culture. And aside from the YFC and YFL, respectively, other parishes create a Youth Ministry that coordinates with all the youth within the vicinity of the parochial territory so that they may be evangelized early on.
Does the Church fill in the gap that the SK--and the Barangay council--oftentimes fail to do so?
As we see it, SK chairs and councilors have become dysfunctional, nowadays. The people in the community rather entrust their children in the life of prayer than in the life of governance and politics. Anyway, they might comment, the SK people do not act on their own; or if they do, will it benefit their well being? Some SK members do not even know what are their roles and responsibilities; why did they nominated themselves; and why are they elected in the first place. It only seems that it is better to tap the youth into holiness and not into unnecessary responsibility.
(Check out for Part 2; to be posted soon.)