House passes bill postponing SK polls anew
MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives on Monday, December 1, passed a bill postponing the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or youth council) elections once again.
The lower chamber passed on 3rd reading House Bill 5209, setting the next SK polls for the last Monday of October 2016, in sync with the next barangay (village) elections.
It is the second SK polls postponement bill passed by the House in the 16th Congress. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) had earlier expressed its support for the postponement of the SK polls to 2016.
The SK elections had been originally scheduled on October 28, 2013, but was postponed following the enactment of Republic Act 10632. The Comelec then reset the SK polls for February 21, 2015, in accordance with the said law.
RA 10632 also mandates the legislation of reforms in the SK system.
In a phone interview with Rappler, Caloocan City Representative Edgar Erice said that if the Senate version of the postponement bill is the same, it may not go through a bicameral conference anymore and head straight to Malacañang for President Benigno Aquino III's signature.
Erice, vice chairman of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms, hopes to finalize the postponement of the SK elections before Congress takes its Christmas break starting December 19.
Meanwhile, Erice said that numerous SK reform bills in the House would have to be consolidated and passed into law within next year in time for the 2016 SK polls. – Rappler.com