Editorial: Move to postpone SK polls-A A +A
Thursday, September 12, 2013
IT'S an important development lost in the recent Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)-initiated siege
of Zamboanga City.
No, we are not referring to yesterday’s “Edsa Tayo” (Metro Manila) and “Fuente Ta” (Cebu) anti-pork barrel rallies but to the initiatives in Congress to postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to 2016.
The SK polls, like in the past, are piggybacked with the elections of barangay officials scheduled for next month.
Last Tuesday, the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms voted 11-1 to postpone the SK elections to the last Monday of October 2016. Also last Tuesday, the Senate passed on second reading Senate Bill 1186 that seeks to move the SK polls to next year.
In both measures, incumbent SK officials won’t be mandated to stay in their positions on holdover capacity.
The problem with this initiative is that only a few weeks are left before the Oct. 28 synchronized barangay and SK polls, so there is a need to churn the legislative mill a
Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes has therefore urged President Noynoy Aquino to certify the SK polls postponement measures as urgent.
“Kapag cinertify yan, bibilis e. In one week’s time, tapos na yan,” he said.
It’s still not known what the President’s stand is on this one. PNoy has earlier opposed calls to postpone the synchronized barangay and SK elections. But what the lawmakers want postponed is only the SK polls.
If the President certify the SK polls postponement measures as urgent and Congress is able to pass a reconciled version of these on time, then consider the SK as good as abolished.
Brillantes has already articulated this. With the SK polls postponement, the various sanggunians won’t have a youth representation for three years (if moving the SK polls to 2016 would be agreed).
He noted thus: "If it is postponed, we already can see whether the barangay can function without the SK...If it can function smoothly without the SK, we can dispense with the SK and we don't have really to hold any further elections. Dun na tayo papunta sa abolition siguro."
Of course, things are not that easy, as there will surely be opposition to the SK’s abolition. Still, three years would be a long enough time to settle the debate on whether to abolish the SK or not.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 12, 2013.