THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is planning to scrap the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) because it is not serving its main purpose of providing political training for the youth.
Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said the poll body echoed election lawyer Romulo Macalintal’s recommendation on Tuesday to abolish the youth council.
“We have many (protest) cases, wherein the parents are the ones intervening for the SK candidates about vote-buying, irregularities. Imagine, at that age, those are the charges being thrown against each other. It’s not supposed to be that way. This early, they are already like traditional politicians,” the poll official explained.
“In fact, we are planning to do that (make a proposal). It’s okay to retain the barangay elections but not the SK, we really have not seen any positive results from it,” he added.
Tagle said holding SK elections is also expensive, thus it is impractical to carry on with the poll exercise that is participated by only about two million youths.
He said Comelec allocated P3.4 billion for the scheduled barangay and SK polls on October 28.
Tagle is hopeful that Congress will consider the Comelec’s proposal.
“We have talked to some congressmen that are amenable to the abolition of the SK. But we still don’t know (if it will be approved) since it will go through Congress. And if it is true that it is the breeding ground of political dynasties, we may see some opposition also,” he said.
In lieu of SK, Tagle suggested that one youth representative is enough to strengthen and empower the next generation in every barangay.
The SK elections was instituted by Chapter VIII of the Local Government Code of 1991. Youth leaders aged 15 to below 18 years old can join the political exercise where one chairman and seven SK kagawads are elected for each barangay.