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Youth council abolition pushed

An elections  commissioner is in favor of abolishing the Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council), saying it’s just a waste of time and money, and does not serve its purpose. Comelec commissioner Lucenito Tagle thus joins veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal and Henrietta de Villa of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting in calling for the abolition or at least a review of the youth council. Still, the Comelec said it was preparing for the conduct of the October elections where more than 300,000 seats for youth and village councils are up for grabs. Macalintal for his part said the SK has not served its  purpose to provide  political training to the youth. Two weeks ago,  de Villa said lawmakers should review the SK law, saying the youth council polls in the barangay are being exploited by political dynasties. “That’s what we’re saying a long time ago. What  Macalintal is saying is true,” said  Tagle. Tagle said the Comelec is yet to decide on the matter but members of the commission en banc are considering scrapping the youth council. “First, we’re spending big money for conducting SK elections. The (average) number of those participating is only two million. There’s always low turnout.” Tagle said the budget for the Village and Youth Council elections is around P3.4 billion. He added that the Comelec is proposing that the barangay should instead maintain the youth representative in the Village Council. The SK was created by the Local Government Code of 1991. In an SK election, youths aged 15 to 18 elect a chairman and seven council members. Some 43,000 posts for barangay and SK chairman as well as 293,965 for Sangguniang Barangay and SK council will be contested in the October polls. Voters are to choose one chairman and six barangay council members while young voters will elect their SK chief and six council members.
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