Empowering Youth in Leading Accountability - Briefing & Orientation Series

What does it take for Filipino youth to take the lead on accountability in the Philippines today? 

Young Filipinos have always had the historical role of being the “hope of the motherland” having led the biggest movements that made the difference in the country: the fight for independent, anti-Martial Law struggle and unseating of a corrupt president. 

Today, when civil society and social movements are facing numerous challenges and threats amidst countless need to demand transparency, participation and accountability from the government, the question is: will the Filipino youth today step up once again to take the lead and how? 

A key accountability issue today is ensuring effectiveness and responsiveness from government agencies and programs, especially those serving the poor and marginalized and generating revenues from the government. The fight against corruption is another call needing new, revitalized and strategic actions from civil society. Part of this is ensuring that accountability institutions like the Ombudsman, the Commission on Audit, the Commission on Human Rights, the Civil Service Commission do their job in checking exercise of power of government instrumentalities, as well as ensuring that mechanism such as performance assessments, monitoring systems and citizen feedback and grievance redress are working.

In recognition of the historical role of the youth in nation-building, its participation has been guaranteed by the State from national to the community level. The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK)is a mechanism for youth to take part in governance present in every barangay and federalized at local, sub-national and national levels. The National Youth Commission (NYC) is created to ensure that youth participate in policy making and that youth’s concerns and issues are taken up in government policies and programs.  There are numerous non-government and peoples organizations comprise of the youth and serving the youth. 

The new Philippine dispensation has provided spaces such as those enumerated above for young people to the take the lead on issues confronting the county today. Making use of these spaces, revitalizing them so they can do more and be responsive to the calls of the time and enabling them to take on the challenge is an endeavor that is worth exploring. 

G-Watch is implementing a project entitled Strengthening the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) as an Accountability Mechanism in Local Governanceor SK as G-WatchProject that aims to capacitate the SKs in monitoring key poverty reduction programs of the government, to enable the SKs to be a key stakeholder in accountability of poverty reduction programs. A series of Briefing-Orientation activities of volunteer-monitors shall be conducted in the three project sites - Samal City, Maasin City and Quezon City. The objective each activity is to discuss and orient the volunteer monitors on the project, the monitoring process and tool and come up with collective monitoring plans. 

The project is supported by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.