ILOILO CITY — Seats left vacant during the 2018 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections are expected to be filled up by the end of January, otherwise their proposed 2019 budget would not be processed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“We will not be receiving their proposed budget for 2019 if the signatures of all SK officials are not complete. They will be forced to conduct the special elections because it is mandated by the law and the circular,” DILG Iloilo City director, lawyer Ferdinand Panes, said in an interview on Thursday.
Panes was referring to Republic Act No. 10742 or the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act and DILG Memorandum Circular 2018-212 issued last December 26, regarding the conduct of special elections.
He noted that incomplete signatures would be their basis not to process the documents, as part of DILG’s technical review power.
Panes on Thursday released a memorandum for the Sangguniang Kabataan in Iloilo City barangays to complete their number of officials.
Prior to the elections, there will be a special registration for those who are qualified. It will be facilitated by the SK secretary of the respective barangays. The date of the special election will be determined by the SK chairperson.
Those qualified to register are 15 to 30 years old while only those aged 18 to 24 years can run for a position.
During the conduct of elections, the DILG, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and a non-governmental organization or a civil society organization will serve as members of the Board of Election Supervisor.
“What is important is that the SK election shall be conducted within 30 days upon receipt of the circular. At least five days before the conduct of the elections, the secretary shall post a notice of the date, place and time of the elections,” he added.
Panes said more than 300 SK positions are vacant in 75 of the city’s 180 barangays. Some of those elected have already resigned to look for work or go to school.
“It’s a simplified election. I hope that this will be filled already because we are planning together in coordination with the SK Federation and the LYDO (Local Youth Development Office) to conduct a training, which is a requirement before assumption,” he said.
For those with no SK official, it is recommended that the election be facilitated by the barangay, he added.
Barangay Libertad Sta. Isabel in Jaro district has no SK official while Barangay Tanza, Timawas has no SK chairperson. (PNA)