So we can reform SK, postpone polls – Marcos
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr has filed a bill seeking to postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to 2016.
Senate Bill 1186, which was filed on Tuesday, July 30, is meant to give the government time to institute reforms in the barangay-based youth councils before a new set of officers are elected nationwide.
The youth polls are scheduled to be held simultaneously with the barangay elections on October 28. Registration for the said elections was set to close at 5 pm on Wednesday, July 31.
The bill, when approved, will amend Republic Act 9340 that scheduled the polls for this year. The bill seeks to move this year's SK polls to the last Monday of October 2016, in sync with the next barangay elections.
Incumbent SK officials will remain in office on holdover capacity until that time, unless sooner removed or suspended for due cause.
Marcos said there is a general observation that the SK's present structure, as mandated by the Local Government Code, "has lost its effectiveness in advancing democratic ideals of service-oriented leadership."
He cited reports that SK leaders have become so politicized and susceptible to dishonest practices in handling public funds.
“As a result, there are strong clamor from different sectors of the society for the restructuring and in-depth evaluation of the SK, and institute reform therein,” the senator said.
President Benigno Aquino III has asked Interior and Local Government Sec Mar Roxas to study the current SK system, according to presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda in a press briefing on Wednesday, July 31.
Senator Marcos is not alone in his proposal.
He said the National Youth Commission has even passed a resolution supporting the postponement of this year's SK elections "to give Congress time to legislate reforms before the voting of new SK officials."
The Commission on Elections was also in favor of its postponement. But the President said that the Comelec should give him a “very good reason” to support the idea.
Senator Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV, for his part, has also identified flaws in the current SK system, and has indicated he will file bills pushing for a “major overhaul” of the SK. – Michael Bueza/Rappler.com