Whither the SK?
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The House of Representatives has passed the bill that would postpone the election for the members of the now very unpopular government entity called the Sangguniang Kabataan, or Youth Council. Since all indications show that the President is going to sign this measure into law, it can be deduced that no election for the young politicians will take place on October 28, when Filipinos go to the polls to elect their barangay leaders.
The only objection to the passage of the House bill came from members who believe that it should have provided for the holdover of those who are now occupying the positions. Since the justification for the postponement is that the solons want to introduce reforms to the system and define further the role of the SK, how could such changes be effected when the entity would be, practically non-existent when the end of the time given for the postponement comes?
The Senate has its own version of the bill. While it also seeks a postponement, it states that there should be a holdover, that is, those now occupying the positions of SK members or officials can stay in place until the next election.
But let us consider this: As of the present, there are 42,000 SK chairmen and 300,000 SK councilors in the country. Those who are chairpersons automatically sit as members of the town or city councils, with the same privileges as the regularly elected ones. The rest, too, receive allowances and the country’s budget for the SK also runs to billions.
Considering the two versions from the two houses, which will prevail? The election is now too close for any more dallying on the problem. Let us hope the President will resolve this immediately, if only to be fair to those who had been campaigning and hoping for a chance to enjoy the same sinecures their predecessors had been holding in the past years.*