By Miles Colasito
Tacloban City (August 15) – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has submitted a proposed bill to Malacañang, calling for the abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan and the subsequent election of a youth representative during the barangay elections on October 25, 2010 .
DILG-8 Regional Director Francisco C. Jose revealed that Secretary Jesse M. Robredo has proposed for the repeal of Section 423 to 439 of the Local Government Code that will in effect totally abolish the Katipunan ng Kabataan or the SK., and the amendment of Section 387 (a) and 390 of the same Code to include a youth representative in the barangay who shall be elected at large by the youth aged 15 years old but less than 18 years old during the barangay elections.
Secretary Robredo saw the need to abolish the SK council since it has not proven itself to be functional and effective in delivering its services under the Local Government Code.
It was explained that this will not deprive the youth of their voice in the Barangay but would instead strengthen the position of the youth since its representative will be a regular member of the barangay council and no longer an ex-officio member.
The SK abolition will not only save the government approximately P3.5-billion in election expenses, but this is also in line with the government’s judicious streamlining of functions and services at the barangay level.
Dir. Jose said that the bill proposes the holding of the synchronized barangay and youth representative elections as scheduled on October 25, 2010 , and the next barangay and youth representative elections shall be held simultaneously with the local elections on May 2013 and every year thereafter.
The bill also amends Section 2 of Republic Act No. 9164 stating that the initial term of office of the youth representative shall be two years and eight months which is from November 30, 2010 to June 30, 2013 and every three years from June 30, 2013 .
Further, it states that no barangay elective official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms in the same position, while a youth representative shall only serve a single term.
In the said bill, the term of office of the barangay and representative officials that shall be elected on October 25 this year shall commence on November 30, 2010, while those elected in subsequent elections shall commence at noon of June 30 following their elections.
The bill includes holding of a special and continuing registration of voters for the youth representative to be fixed by the Commission on Elections, while subsequent registration of youth representative voters shall be governed by RA 8189. (PIA-DILG 8)