MANILA -- Youth leaders at the barangay level have been given another chance to serve their neighbors and make a difference in their communities with the holding of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) special elections early next year.
"I commend the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for finding ways to remedy the many vacancies in the SK of many barangays nationwide. The barangays must have complete SK councils because they are the ones authorized by law to budget, approve, and spend the mandatory 10 percent allocation of each barangay's general fund," Iligan City Representative Frederick Siao said.
In a memo dated Dec. 20, the DILG issued the guidelines for the filling up of vacant SK posts through succession and special elections.
SK elections were held on May 14, 2018 but resulted in some barangay having only an elected SK chairman with no or incomplete council members or SK council with members but no chairman.
For SK councils with no chairpersons, the SK council member with the highest number of votes will assume the vacant chairmanship, while the next in rank will move up through succession, but for SK councils with no or lacking in members, the elected SK chairperson has been authorized to call for special elections.
For barangays with an elected SK chairman, the earliest SK special polls for council members will be held 30 days after Dec. 20, or Jan. 19, 2019 to be exact, but for the councils with no SK chairman, the 30-day countdown begins after the council member with the most votes assumes the chairmanship.
Siao, a member of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms, appealed to "competent, idealistic, civic-minded, and self-less youths with leadership skills to step forward and step up to do their share in building our nation from the ground up."
"Those who missed the chance to be voted upon last May have this second chance now. The delivery of basic services for the youths in barangays will be in jeopardy if barangays will have incomplete SK councils. The 10 percent of the barangay general fund is a big deal, especially in areas where there are many young residents," the congressman, who is also a member of the House committee on youth, said.
Siao said the SK funds cannot be spent by anyone else because "only the SK are authorized by law, the Local Government Code as amended, to do that." (PR)