Youth groups file petition to extend registration of voters for SK polls

MANILA — Various youth organizations filed on Thursday a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to extend the period of registration of voters for the October 2016 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election.

The petitioners are the Akbayan Youth, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, SK Reform Coalition, First Time Voters Network, Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking, and Bigkis-UPM.

They asked the SC for additional 15 days for the registration period for the voters in the SK election.

They cited Section 31 of Republic Act No. 10742, or the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015 which states that registration “shall in no case be less than one month.”

They argued that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) only held a 15-day registration last July 15-30 for the Barangay and SK elections.

According to Miguel Tayao Angeles of the Akbayan Youth, the registration period allotted by the Comelec was very much insufficient for the big number of youths voters in the country.

Angeles noted that there were many reasons why many youths were not able to register and therefore cannot anymore vote in the scheduled Barangay and SK elections on Oct. 31.

He cited as an example the situation in Makati City where the registration immediately closed at 11 a.m.

The petitioners also noted that in Albay, the period of registration was affected by tropical storm “Carina” while in Nueva Vizcaya, although the registration was extended up to 11 p.m., still many youths were not able to register because there was only a single computer used for the biometrics. Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr/PNA/