23, 2013

NR # 3235C

House approves SK Elections postponement
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. presided over plenary Monday as the House approved on third reading, the substitute bill resetting the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to the last Monday of October 2016. This was by a vote of 185-12. House Bill 2849 is in substitution of six separate but similar measures -- HB Nos. 722, 893, 1987, 2062, 2090 and 2537) authored respectively by Reps. Winston “Winnie” Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City), Joselito R. Mendoza (3rd District, Bulacan), Xavier Jesus “XJ” D. Romualdo (Lone District, Camiguin), Anthony G. Del Rosario (1st District, Davao del Norte) and Edgar Erice (2nd, District, Caloocan City). The House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms Chairman, Rep. Fredenil H. Castro (2nd District, Capiz), ably sponsored and defended the postponement measure in plenary, with Rep. Edgar Erice seconding the motion for final approval. Authors of the measure were one in saying that the postponement of the October 28, 2013 SK polls to the next synchronized barangay and SK elections in 2016 would give Congress sufficient time to seriously consider the various pending proposals for the abolition of the SK as an institution. Castelo, echoing the sentiments of the other principal authors, explained that the “seeming issue of the effects of a hold-over, or from 2013 to 2016, will be far outweighed by the more significant and lasting benefits of a political environment insulated from partisan politics as well as a level playing field.” As a consequence, the committee-approved HB 2849 that mandates that the scheduled SK elections shall be postponed to the next scheduled barangay and SK elections on October 2016 and every three (3) years thereafter. A parallel measure had earlier been approved by the Senate. HB 2849 was presented in plenary by Chairman Castro as contained in Committee Report No. 02 approved September 10, 2013. HB 2849 also mandates the Commission on Elections and the Department of Interior and Local Government to promulgate the necessary rules and regulations within 30 days after effectivity of the proposed Act. (30) dpt

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