BAGUIO CITY – Some thirty three barangays in five provinces and a city in the region have no candidates for the different elected positions for Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) in the forthcoming May 14, 2018 barangay and SK elections, a senior official of the Cordillera office of the Department of the Interior and Local government (DILG-CAR) said here recently.
Daisy Payang, head of the DILG-CAR’s local government monitoring and evaluation division, said that Apayao had the most number of barangays without SK candidates at all with 18 followed by Baguio City with 9, Benguet and Mountain Province with 2 barangays each and Ifugao and Abra with 1 barangay each.
The DILG-CAR official noted that there some 2,427 individuals who were able to file their certificates of candidacy (COC) for the available 1,175 positions for SK chairpersons while only 5,021 aspirants filed their COCs for the over 8,224 available positions for members of the Katipunan ng Kabataan (KK).
“There was a low turnout in the number of aspirants for the elected positions in the SK pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 10742 or the SK Reform Act but we have to deal with the situation and await further directives from higher authorities on how the vacant positions will be filled up,” paying stressed.
Under the SK Reform Act that took effect in 2015, there shall be 1 SK chairperson and 7 KK members who shall be elected by the duly registered voters whose age range will be from 15 to 30 years old.
Payang claimed DILG and Commission on Election (Comelec) officials will still be meeting after the conduct of the barangay and SK elections to discuss on how to fill up the vacant SK positions that the barangays without SK chairpersons and incomplete KK members will be filled up to operationalize the SK in the different barangays around the country.
According to her, one of the modes to fill up the vacancies will be the scheduling of special elections in the different barangays with no SK chairpersons or incomplete KK members so that the registered SK in the said barangays will be given the fair chance to elect their youth leaders.
However, she claimed that the local governments where there are vacant positions for SK chairpersons and KK members will shoulder the expenses that will be incurred in the conduct of the SK special elections.
On the other hand, DILG-CAR regional director Marlo Iringan vouched the idea on the possibility of President Rodrigo Duterte delegating his residual powers to Interior and Local government officer-in-charge Eduardo Ano so that the vacant positions in the SK in the different barangays nationwide could be filled up the soonest to make the SK functional pursuant to the primary objectives of the SK Reform Act.
He expressed confidence that the DILG and the poll body will be able to come out with immediate solutions on how to fill up the vacancy created by the failure of registered SK members to file their COCs for the available positions that are subject to the political exercise.