Barangay, SK polls postponement is anti-democratic — Kabataan
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s decision to enact a bill suspending the 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections is a move against democracy, the Kabataan party-list claimed on Thursday.
In a statement, the group insisted that postponing the said polls to October 2023 denies local and youth leaders who want to run the chance to bring changes in their respective communities.
“Ang pagpapaliban sa halalan ay salungat sa gobyernong tapat at mabuting pamamahala na matagal nang nais makamit ng kabataang Pilipino. Tila pinapatunayan ng kasalukuyang administrasyon ang pagsunod sa yapak ng mga nakaraang diktadura sa pag-paantala ng halalan,” said Mia Angela Simon, Kabataan vice president for Luzon.
(Delaying elections contradicts the government’s intent to provide honest and good service that the Filipino youth has been longing for. It seems that the current administration is just showing that it would follow the footsteps of the dictatorship by delaying the elections.)
According to Simon and Kabataan, the suspension of the elections that would supposedly be held in December 2022 only extends the problems encountered by several barangays with their officials.
“Kaya naman, ngayon higit kailan man, kailangan nating tumindig at ipaglaban ang batayang karapatan sa pagboto at paghahalal sa mga karapat dapat na pinuno. Paigtingin pa natin ang voter’s registration at partisipasyon ng kabataan sa politika at pampublikong serbisyo,” she said.
(That is why, now more than ever, we need to stand up and fight for our right to vote and to elect the rightful leaders. We should intensify voter registration efforts and youth participation in politics and public service.)
“Sa kapwa lider-kabataan lalo sa mga nasa Sangguniang Kabataan, hamon sa atin na tunay na maglingkod sa bayan sa pagtagumpay ng politika ng pag-asa, pakikibaka at mabuting pamamahala,” she added.
(For my fellow youth leaders, especially those in the Sangguniang Kabataan, it is a challenge for us to truly serve the country by championing the politics of hope, politics of struggle, and good governance.)
On Wednesday, it was reported that President Marcos has signed the ratified version of the Senate and House of Representatives bill into law. Information from the Official Gazette showed that the law, officially entitled Republic Act No. 11935, was signed on Monday.
Kabataan has maintained, even when the bill was just at the committee level in the House, that suspending the elections would paralyze SK programs as it would hinder growth in the communities.
Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel was among the few lawmakers who countered the bill, including other members of the Makabayan bloc and key Minority member Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman.
With reports from Trisha Manalaysay, trainee
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