House committee approves bill postponing SK polls to 2016

MANILA, Philippines – Voting 11-1, the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms on Tuesday, September 10, passed the bill seeking to postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to October 2016, longer than the one-year deferment their Senate counterparts are pushing for.

The lone dissenting vote came from Kabataan Rep Terry Ridon, who was deputized by Bayan Muna party-list Rep Neri Colmenares. 

Solons also rejected proposals to allow incumbent SK members to retain their positions pending the elections.

This differs from the Senate proposal, but is similar to what Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr had wanted.

Brillantes said vacating SK posts could serve as a test on whether a barangay can function without the SK and thus serve as grounds to abolish the body. 

“The law should be, if there will be no SK and no representation, the youngest among the barangay sanggunian will represent the youth,” Brillantes said. 

Brillantes is asking Congress to defer the polls by the first week of October 2013 to allow the Comelec to save money. 

House suffrage committee chairman Fredenil Castro said they are already working on getting the President to certify the bill as urgent. – Angela Casauay/