House studying proposal to postpone SK polls
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 6, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives is considering the proposal of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections set on Oct. 8.

House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales Jr. said there is a growing consensus among congressmen and other stakeholders to overhaul the SK, which many local officials consider to be a breeding ground for corruption.

“The House of Representatives is open to the proposal of Chairman (Sixto) Brillantes to postpone the SK elections. We are now consulting our leaders,” Gonzales told reporters after meeting with the Comelec chief on Wednesday.

Brillantes appeared before the House committee on appropriations to defend the poll body’s budget under the proposed P2.3-trillion General Appropriations Act for 2014.

“He (Brillantes) wants an indefinite suspension so that people will see that barangay leaders are enough and then abolish eventually the SK and just allow the SK chairman to be part of the barangay council,” another senior lawmaker present during the meeting said.

However, Gonzales neither confirmed nor denied that Brillantes proposed the indefinite suspension of SK polls.

When asked if there is still time to postpone the SK elections, Gonzales said, “The House of Representatives can still enact a measure for the postponement, especially if the President certifies it as urgent measure.”

About 42,000 seats for SK chair and 300,000 seats for SK council are at stake in the elections.

Administration lawmakers earlier called for swift action on bills seeking to abolish the SK, saying the move would save the government at least P2 billion.

Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo sought to scrap the budget for SK, noting that such move would stop corruption in the youth organization.

He said corruption in the SK emanates from its leaders’ access to public funds, adding that a budget-less SK would be the “appropriate antidote.”

BRILLANTES COMELEC GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT GONZALES HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER AND MANDALUYONG CITY REP HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES NEPTALI GONZALES JR. QUEZON CITY REP SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN WINSTON CASTELO
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