Youth groups want 15 more days for SK registration

MANILA, Philippines – Several youth groups asked the Supreme Court on Thursday, August 4, to compel the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to hold 15 more days for the registration of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) voters.

The registration for the SK and barangay elections was held from July 15 to 30. The polls will be in October.

However, groups like Akbayan Youth and SK Reform Coalition said Comelec Resolution 10151, which set the 16-day registration period, violated Republic Act 10742 (SK Reform Act).

Section 31 of the SK law, they cited, provides for an enlistment period of no less than 30 days.

The petition reads: “Clearly, therefore, the Comelec acted within its power to set the start of the special registration on July 15, 2016. However, it is also clear that the Comelec acted beyond its power when it set the last day of the special registration on July 30, 2016. The period from July 15 to July 30 is inclusive of 16 calendar days, half of the minimum period mandated by Section 31.”

Thousands of voters from Manila, Bacolod, Albay, San Pablo, Iloilo, and Nagcarlan, Laguna failed to register because of the too short a period allotted, the petitioners said.

Last year, another youth group asked the Supreme Court to extend the registration for the general elections of 2016. The court junked the petition, saying that any extension would “gravely affect [the Comelec’s] rigid and strict timeline.” 

The High Court had also said that registration periods are not mandatory, only prescriptive. –