Senators on Monday unanimously approved on third and final reading the bill filed by Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. which sought to postpone next month’s Sangguniang Kabataaan (SK) elections.
With 19 affirmative votes, no negative vote and one abstention, the senators gave their consent to Senate Bill 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.”
Those who voted for the bill were Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, and 17 other senators who were in attendance. Senator Vicente Sotto III abstained while Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Teofisto Guingona III were absent. Senate President Franklin Drilon didn’t have to cast his vote.
The approval on 3rd and final reading was in compliance with the 3-day rule under Article 6, Section 26, Paragraph 2 of the 1987 constitution.
Marcos on September 4 sponsored on the floor SB No. 1186 under Committee Report No. 1, being the chair of the Senate local government committee, which sought for the postponement of the SK elections, although he reiterated his support for restructuring the SK, to give Congress reasonable time to craft legislation that would institute the necessary reforms to the present structure of the SK.
In his sponsorship speech, Marcos noted the general observation, through the years since the first SK elections in 1992, that the “Sangguniang Kabataan was not as effective as envisioned in advancing the democratic ideals of service-oriented youth leadership.”
He also said there were reports that the 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 reforms,” Marcos said.
The National Youth Commission has earlier even adopted 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 substantial reforms before the voting of new SK officials.”