Thursday, September 12, 2013

COMELEC slows down in SK polls preparation

By: Tina G. Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines (12 Sept 2013) - The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls will most likely be postponed, according to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brillantes said Wednesday they have in fact slowed down their preparations for the SK polls.

"We have already put on hold the ballot printing for the SK elections.  We can just put it in the latter part of the printing process if it is not postponed," said Brillantes.

He said the COMELEC also junked the idea of a holdover capacity for the incumbent members of the SK council.

No holdovers

"Having them as holdovers would defeat the purpose of experimenting whether the barangays can function without the SK council," he said.  "We agree with Congressman (Edgar) Erice (Caloocan) that the youngest member of the Sangguniang Barangay will be the representative of the SK."

The poll chief said that based on the status of the pending bills in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, the barangay elections will push through without the SK polls.

"More or less the COMELEC proposal of postponing it to October 2016 would be carried out," he said.

"I don't see any objections in the House.  I also don't see any clear objection in the Senate.  They seem to agree on the postponement.  There was only one opposition and that was from the Kabataan party-list," he added.

No achievements

Brillantes said SK only becomes a "breeding ground" for corruption.

"Wala namang achievement, walang performance, sayang ang pera (it has no achievements to show, no performance, it's a waste of money)... it is just a breeding ground for graft and corruption," he said.

Commissioner Grace Padaca also said there were concerns raised that the SK funds just go to sports activities, dancing parties and other events.

While waiting for Congress' final decision, Brillantes said they would continue to prepare for the October polls, including the printing of the official ballots.

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