Philippine Councilor’s League national president Alma Moreno-Salic yesterday said the postponement of the Sangguniang Kabataan elections should have been decided long before, and not just several weeks before the Oct. 28 elections.
With less than five weeks remaining, the Senate and House of Representatives, through a bicameral conference committee, decided yesterday to postpone the SK polls, supposedly to take place simultaneously with the barangay elections on Oct. 28.
The bicameral committee also agreed with the House version, that states there will be no holdover for the incumbent SK officials. The new date for the SK polls will be between October 28, 2014 and February 23, 2015, as determined by the Commission on Elections.
Although the PCL has to come up yet with a common stand on the proposed abolition of SK, Moreno-Salic said she sympathized with SK leaders who have already formed their own slates and have started campaigning in their areas.
They should have done it before, Moreno-Salic, whose son also served as SK chairperson in Parañaque, said.
She also said the budget is being managed by the barangay captain.
Moreno-Salic, who attended the PCL President’s Academy activity “An Intensified Course on Local Government Governance” at Palmas del Mar in Bacolod City, admitted that it is difficult for SK officials to simultaneously perform their job and studies.
They have prioritized their studies, she said, noting also that SK members are also prone to corruption as they are too young.
More than three million Filipinos between 15 and 17 years of age registered for this year’s SK elections.
Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, head of the Senate Local Government Committee, said there will also be no appointments of temporary SK officials.
In addition, the SK fund, which is 10 percent of the Internal Revenue Allotment fund given to barangays, should still be used by the barangays but only for youth development programs, Marcos said.
The PCL-Negros Occidental, headed by Board Member Raul Rivera, and PCL-Bacolod are jointly hosting the three-day activity in Bacolod City, that will start Thursday, with about 2,000 councilors all over the country expected to attend.*GPB