On Oct 30, 2023, Monday, the Philippines will be holding the Barangay and SK elections. I’ve talked about the barangay before in a newsletter way back. This is their smallest government unit, and in this election, they’ll be voting for their local executive (the barangay captain) and local councilors (the barangay kagawads).
This is a national election day, so it will be a holiday. Your OFS might ask to take the day off to vote.
In addition to voting for their local government, Filipino teenagers registered to vote will also be voting for their local representatives in the Sanggunian Kabataan (SK) or youth council elections.
I’ll let Jamie explain what SK is.
A big portion of the Philippine population is comprised of the youth. 52% of Filipinos are 24 years old or younger.
To encourage them to engage in politics, a local youth council was established in 1975 (called Kabataang Barangay back then) to give young people a say in local government.
The youth elects a Sanggunian Kabataan (SK) representative, which is equivalent to that of barangay kagawads. These representatives are paid and have the same duties and responsibilities as the local legislature. The only difference is that they will also become members of the National Youth Commission, where the representatives vote for a president to address youth issues on a nationwide scale.
To be eligible to run as a youth representative, you must be a registered SK voter between the ages of 18 to 24. Given their age, it’s expected that these youth representatives would be college-age students. So, if someone wants to go into politics as a career, running as an SK representative would be their first step.
Who votes for the SK representative? In the Philippines, you can register to vote for the SK elections when you turn 15. You’ll be eligible to vote in the regular and SK elections when you turn 18. But once you turn 30, you’ll only vote in regular elections.
If you hire a young, politically active OFS, you just might be working with the future of Philippine politics.