MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) urged President Aquino on Sunday to certify as urgent proposed measures in Congress seeking to abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) or youth councils, so it could better prepare for the barangay (village) elections in October.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. cited the importance of settling the question of whether to abolish the youth council, since the Comelec would soon begin preparations for the synchronized barangay and SK elections.
“If it remains unresolved, it will derail our preparations,” said Brillantes in an interview with reporters. “We are already preparing to start with our bidding process [so] once we go full blast with our preparations, it will not be good anymore to postpone it.”
The SK is a barangay-attached youth legislative body that initiates policies and projects for the youth in the community and enacts ordinances in their interest.
The Comelec chief said the measures concerning the youth council must be tackled as soon as the House of Representatives opens next week following Aquino’s State of the Nation Address on July 22.
“The President should certify these measures as urgent so that the next steps will be known,” he said.
Brillantes also said the Comelec was leaving the matter up to the lawmakers and would no longer issue a formal resolution calling for the postponement of the SK elections. He also noted that there had been bills filed to do away with the youth council.
“Our position is we have already put on record our wish to postpone the SK polls but we don’t need to issue a resolution anymore. Anyway, there are already bills filed in [Congress] and we will just leave it up to them,” he said.
Moves to abolish the SK have gained ground in Congress after election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said early this month that taxpayer money was being wasted on the youth council that “had become the training ground of traditional politicians.”