The committee on suffrage and electoral reforms of the House of Representatives has passed a bill seeking to postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections originally set for next month to October 2016.
Representative Fredenil Castro (2nd district, Capiz), the committee chairman, said that they are already working on getting President Benigno Aquino III to certify the bill as urgent.
Castro, a member of the NUP, said the panel voted 11-1 to approve the consolidated bills aimed at deferring the SK polls.
Representatives Magnolia Rosa Antonino-Nadres (4th district, Nueva Ecija) and Magtanggol Gunigundo (2nd district, Valenzuela City), who are also both NUP members, along with Representatives Edgar Erice (2nd district, Caloocan City), Mel Senen Sarmiento (1st district, Western Samar), and Wilson Castelo (QC, 2nd district) have filed separate measures seeking the postponement of the SK and barangay polls scheduled on the last Monday of October this year.
Castro said members of the committee also rejected proposals to allow incumbent SK members to retain their positions pending the elections.
Commission on Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. welcomed the committee’s move as he had long been asking Congress to defer the youth polls to allow the Comelec to save funds.
He also agreed with the committee’s decision not to allow incumbent SK members to remain in their posts in a holdover capacity. “If there is a holdover, those who won in the SK elections in 2010 will already be overage by 2016. They are no longer qualified. Actually by October 2014 none of them are aged 18,” Brillantes said.
Moreover, “having them as holdovers would defeat the purpose of experimenting whether the barangays can function without the SK council,” he added.