MANILA, Philippines – Even though over a million turned up to run for public office in the upcoming village and youth council elections, there are still positions without candidates, and most of them are in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).
This was revealed by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya on Friday, May 4.
“We don’t have a problem with the barangays. What we have a problem [with] is in the SK [because] there are some, not a lot. They’re not even more than a hundred,” Malaya said, downplaying the vacancies.
But Malaya later admitted: “This is the first time that we’re facing this problem. We haven’t had a problem with the Sangguniang Kabataan [before].”
Government believes that SK councils play a crucial role in nation-building, as they have the power to forward resolutions to the barangay legislators, and are given hefty budgets to implement projects.
What will the government do? According to Malaya, the DILG and the Commission on Elections are currently studying 3 possible solutions.
First is the appointment of one Local Youth Development Officer (LYDO) per municipality and city whose role is “to undertake the role of the barangays who [have] no SK.”
With this option, youth representation will be consolidated to just one person for numerous barangays.
The second possible fix is for the government to simply appoint qualified youth leaders to vacant positions. It is unclear yet who will receive the appointment powers, but the DILG has made it clear that they are eyeing for candidates who are “matino, mahusay, at maaasahan” (decent, excellent, and reliable).
“It (the person to appoint) could be the president, it could be the mayor,” Malaya said.
The last option, and the one most preferred by Malaya, is conducting special elections.
But this would require two things: the Commission on Elections must issue a resolution for another poll, and government must convince local leaders to run in the special elections. – Rappler.com
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