Extend voters’ registration for barangay, SK polls — lawmaker

MANILA — A Senator on Thursday called for an extension of the voters’ registration for barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections which is set to end this Saturday (April 29).

“Importante na ang mamamayan ang pipili ng kanilang mga pinuno sa barangay at Sangguniang Kabataan (It is important for Filipinos to select their leaders in the village and youth),” Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV said.

Aquino pointed out that government should investigate and prosecute barangay officials involved in the illegal drug trade and launch an information drive to help the people make an informed choice.

Meanwhile, he said that while the government is open to issuing a hold-over status for previously elected barangay officials, he urged them to also make sure that SK elections push through.

He further said that reforms under Republic Act No. 10742 or the SK Reform Act will go for naught if the SK elections will be postponed again.

It was Aquino who pushed for the law’s passage as co-author and co-sponsor in the 16th Congress during his time as chairman of the Committee on Youth.

The SK Reform Act is the first legislation in the country with an anti-dynasty provision. It prohibits relatives of elected officials up to second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity from seeking SK posts.

The law adjusts age limit of SK officials from 15 to 17 to 18 to 24 years old, making them legally capable of entering into contracts and be held accountable and liable for their actions.

It also requires SK officials to undergo leadership training programs to expose them to the best practices in governance and guide their development as leaders.

The Commission on Elections earlier said that voters who have not yet registered for the polls scheduled to be held in October 2017 only have until April 29 (Saturday) to do so.

Comelec chair Andres Bautista encouraged voters not to wait until the last day and file applications earlier.

He said that offices will still be open on April 27 and 28 despite some offices suspending work for the hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. Azer Parrocha/PNA-northboundasia.com