Rody wants barangay, SK polls postponed

The Philippine Star

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte fears that drug money would be used in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls scheduled on Oct. 31 and is calling for their postponement.

He said the current problem would only worsen if such a scenario would occur.

Duterte spoke during the 10th anniversary of the Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City.

In a pre-dawn interview Thursday, he said the government does not have the “billions” needed to hold the barangay and SK polls.

“Better hold it at a later date. We would rather use (the money) for the establishment of drug rehabilitation and treatment centers,” he said.

He assumed office in the middle of the year when the government’s budget was already half spent, Duterte said.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Duterte has yet to complete appointing officials in his government and the election will prevent him from doing so.

 “He cannot remove and replace officials,” he said.

Duterte has issued Memorandum Circular 4 compelling appointees of former president Benigno Aquino III to leave their posts.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Perci Cendaña of the National Youth Commission said postponing the SK elections will be disadvantageous to the youth sector.

In his column for SunStar Baguio, Cendaña said the youth sector would continue to have no representation in the government should Congress approve the proposal to move the barangay and SK elections this October to 2017.

“For the barangay council, this means extending the term of current officials on holdover capacity,” read the column.

“For young people, it means two more years without SK. The youth has been disenfranchised for three years now because of the absence of the SK.”

Cendaña said SK elections have been postponed twice due to delays in the passage of the SK reform law, which was approved by former president Aquino earlier this year.

“The law outlines the major structural reform features in the youth council which include fiscal independence, transparency and participatory mechanisms, continuing mandatory training and the historic anti-political dynasty provision,” he said.

“The source of enthusiasm could be the reforms in the new and improved SK that encourage broader participation. It could also be because of the longing of young people for a venue for meaningful involvement in community governance.

“The proposed third postponement of the SK elections goes against the pursuit of genuine youth development which underscores young people’s participation and involvement.”  –With Janvic Mateo

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