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DILG chief seeks SK abolition

By Alcuin Papa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:57:00 08/13/2010

Filed Under: Local authorities, Government, Elections, Youth

MANILA, Philippines?The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has proposed to Malacañang that the Sangguniang Kabataan, or youth council, be abolished and replaced by a single youth representative in the barangay council.

Interior Secretary Jessie Robredo said he has submitted a draft bill to the Palace calling for the abolition of the SK and the election of a single youth representative during the barangay elections on Oct. 25.

Robredo said the youth council has not proven itself to be functional and effective in delivering services to the community.

But scrapping of the SK will not mean that the youth will be deprived of a voice in the community. If anything, it will actually strengthen the position of the youth since a youth representative would now be a regular member of the barangay council when before they only sat as an ex-officio member, he said.

The abolition of the SK will save the government approximately P3.5 billion in expenses.

The proposed bill seeks to repeal Section 423 to 439 of the Local Government Code, in effect abolishing the SK, and amend Sections 387 (a) and 390 to include a youth representative in the barangay council to be elected at large by Filipino youths aged 15 years old but less than 18 years old at the time of the barangay elections.

Synchronized elections

Under the proposed bill, synchronized barangay and youth representative elections will be held as scheduled on Oct. 25, with the next elections to be held simultaneously with the local elections in May 2013 and every three years thereafter.

The bill also amends Section 2 of Republic Act 9164, or the law on synchronized elections, setting out the initial term of office of the youth representative at two years and eight months, from Nov. 30, 2010 to June 30, 2013, and three years subsequently.
It also says that no barangay elective official may serve for more than three consecutive terms, while a youth representative can only serve a single term.

The term of office of the barangay and representative officials that will be elected on Oct. 25 will commence on Nov. 30, while those elected in subsequent elections will start at noon of June 30, following their election.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Thursday said the barangay elections will push through as scheduled on Oct. 25, possibly without the SK polls.

Belmonte said he has been informed by the budget secretary that the government has funds to conduct the election.

But since Malacañang wants to achieve three things with the barangay elections this year, Congress will need to pass the necessary laws, he said. With Michael Lim Ubac

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