Business Mirror - Marcos pushes for SK polls postponement in Senate

31 July 2013

By Mia M. Gonzalez | Business Mirror

SEN. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has proposed the postponement of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections scheduled in October so that lawmakers can work on substantial reforms in the youth council in time for the 2016 polls.

Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, filed Senate Bill 1186, which seeks to postpone the SK elections from October 28, 2013, and its synchronization with the barangay elections on the last Monday of October 2016, unless otherwise provided by law.

“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,” the senator said.

Under the proposed bill, incumbent SK officers elected in 2010 will remain in office on a holdover capacity unless sooner removed or suspended for cause, until their successors shall have been elected.

All SK officials who are ex-officio members of the Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang Panglungsod, or Sangguniang Panlalawigan shall continue to serve in that capacity until the next SK elections.

Marcos said he filed the bill owing to criticisms about the SK, including allegations that its leaders have become politicized and susceptible to corruption.

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

Marcos said even the National Youth Commission has passed a resolution in support for the postponement of the SK polls this year to give Congress time to legislate reforms in the youth council.

Senate President Franklin Drilon said in an interview before Wednesday’s session that he supported the proposal.

Other senators had earlier opposed calls to abolish the SK and instead called for a major overhaul of the youth body.