PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed into law a measure strengthening youth councils in villages by expanding officers’ benefits and requiring certain qualifications for treasurers.

Under Republic Act (RA) No. 11768, members of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) or youth council, including the treasurer and the secretary, shall receive a monthly honorarium in addition to any other compensation that they are currently getting.

However, the honorarium must not exceed the monthly compensation received by the youth council’s chairperson nor surpass 25% of the council’s fund.

Local government units may also grant additional honorarium as well as social welfare contributions and hazard pay to SK officials and appointed members through local ordinance, according to the law.

The law also mandates every youth council to appoint its secretary and treasurer, which should have an education and career background related to either business administration, accountancy, finance, economics, or bookkeeping.

Council members are tasked to create a three-year comprehensive plan for the youth in their community.

Meanwhile, Mr. Duterte also signed a law promoting the rights of abandoned children with unknown parents and recognizing their status as natural-born citizens.

Under RA 1176, an orphan found in the Philippines or in its embassies, consulates, and territories abroad shall be considered a natural-born Filipino citizen regardless of the status or circumstances of the child’s birth

The President also signed into law a measure extending the validity period of firearm licenses and registration from two years to a maximum of 10 years for people who are under high security risks.

RA No. 11766 provides that all licenses to possess a firearm, regardless of type or classification, should be renewed every five or 10 years unless sooner revoked or suspended by the government.

“Failure to renew a license or registration within the period stated above on two occasions shall cause the perpetual disqualification of the holder of the firearm license.”

The law exempts persons who are considered to be in “imminent danger” by the nature of their profession, occupation, or business from the threat assessment certificate requirement. Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza