Marcos proposal to postpone SK election shot down

DUE to time constraint, Senate President Franklin Drilon rejected Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. proposal to postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in October.

Drilon said that although he supported Marcos’ move, the Senate has no time to tackle the measure and consultations from different stakeholders including the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will take time.

“I don’t think we have time for that. We have to consult Comelec. Yes, it’s a good proposition considering that the Comelec itself is asking for postponement. The only problem is that if you do it simultaneously, the ballot will be very long,” Drilon said.

In Senate Bill No. 1186, Marcos, proposed to cancel l the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections slated three months from now to give way for the institution of substantial reform of the youth council.

Marcos on Tuesday filed Senate Bill NO. 1186 entitled, “An Act to Postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan Elections on October 28, 2013, Amending for the Purpose Section 1 of Republic Act No. 9340, and for Other Purposes.”

“The proposed measure seeks to cancel the scheduled Sangguniang Kabataan elections on October 28, 2013 as the purpose of the said elections had become almost meaningless unless reforms are introduced in the structure, accountability, and other aspect of governance of the present Sangguniang Kabataan,” Marcos said.

Instead, the SK elections will be synchronized with the barangay elections on the last Monday of October 2016, unless otherwise provided by law.

As a consequence, incumbent SK officers who were elected in 2010 will remain in office on holdover capacity unless sooner removed or suspended for cause until their successors shall have been elected and qualified.

Likewise, all SK officials who are ex-officio members of the Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang Panglungsod, or Sangguniang Panlalawigan, as the case maybe, shall continue to serve as such until the next SK elections.

Marcos filed the proposed measure amid massive preparation of the Commission on Elections for the scheduled polls.

The Local Government Code of 1991, specifically under Book III, Chapter 8-10 thereof, mandates the creation of SK and provides for its structure, the qualifications and term of office, the powers and duties, as well as the privileges of its officers.
But Marcos said there is a general observation that the SK under the present structure 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 that are entrusted to them for the projects and programs intended for the welfare of their constituents.

“As a result, there are strong clamor from different sectors of the society calling for the restructuring and in-depth evaluation of the SK, and institute reform therein,” the senator said.

He said the National Youth Commission has even passed Resolution No. 18, series of 2013 expressing its “support for the postponement of the October 2013 Sangguniang Kabataan elections to give Congress time to legislate reforms before the voting of new SK officials.”

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