By Bernadette Tamayo | People's Journal
SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wants the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in October cancelled to allow changes in the youth council.
He 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.”
Under SBN 1186, the SK elections will instead be synchronized with the barangay elections on the last Monday of October 2016, unless otherwise provided by law. Marcos filed the proposed measure amid massive preparations of the Commission on Elections for the scheduled polls.
“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.
“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,” he said.
Likewise, all SK officials who are ex-officio members of the Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang Panglungsod, or Sangguniang Panlalawigan, as the case may be, will continue to serve as such until the next SK elections, he said.
The Local Government Code of 1991mandates 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.
However, Marcos noted that the “general observation” concerning the SK is that it “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 is strong clamor from different sectors of the society g for the restructuring and in-depth evaluation of the SK, and institute reform therein,” he said. Marcos noted that 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.”