Philippine Daily Inquirer – Senate ratifies deferment of SK polls

By Maila Ager | Philippine Daily Inquirer

InquirerMANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Tuesday ratified a measure postponing this year’s Sangguniang Kabataan (youth council) (SK) elections to a date between October 28, 2014 and February 23, 2015.

After the ratification by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the measure will be transmitted to President Benigno Aquino III for signature.

It was Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr., chairman of the committee on local government, who reported to the plenary the bicameral committee report on the proposed measure.

All senators present on the floor voted to adopt the measure except for Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who voted against it, and Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, who abstained.

Escudero said he voted against the measure as this would in effect abolish the SK for one year.
“I favor reform, I’m against this abolition,” he said.

Cayetano said he abstained because he was “uncomfortable” that the youth would have no representation for one year.

Under the measure, the SK polls on October 28, 2013 “shall be postponed to a date to be determined by the Comelec (Commission on elections) between October 28, 2014 and February 23, 2015.”

“All incumbent Sangguniang Kabataan officials shall not remain in office after the expiration of their term at noon of November 30, 2013,” it said.

“All Sangguniang Kabataan officials who are ex officio members of the Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang Panlusod or Sangguniang Panlalawigan as the case may be shall not continue to serve as such members in the Sangguniang concerned after the expiration of their term as Sangguniang Kabataan officials,” it further said.

Section 3 of the proposed measure also provides that all SK positions should remain vacant until the new set of officials have been duly elected and qualified.

“And no appointments should be made to the vacated positions,” it said.

Until the new set of officials has been elected, the Sangguniang barangay (village council) should use the SK fund solely for youth development programs.

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