By Ferdinand G. Patinio
THE 45-day election period for the Sangguniang Kabataan elections on Feb. 21, 2015 starts later this month.
Based on Commission on Elections Resolution No. 9905, the election period will start on Jan. 22 to March 2, 30 days before election day and 15 days after.
The poll body reminded that among the prohibited acts during the 45-day period are Alteration of territory of SK precinct or establishment of a new SK precinct. (Sec. 5, R.A. 8189); Illegal release of prisoners. (Sec. 261 (n), Ominibus Election Code (OEC)); Carrying of firearms or other deadly weapons (Sec. 32, R.A. 7166); Use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates (Sec. 33, R.A. 7166); Organizing or maintaining reaction or strike force or similar forces. (Sec. 261 (h), OEC) and Transfer or detail of officers and employees in the civil service including public school teachers. (Sec. 261 (h), OEC).
On the other hand, Candidates who want to participate in the youth polls are required to file their Certificates of Candidacy from Feb. 07, 09, 10, 2015.
Candidates for SK positions must be Filipino citizens; at least 15 years old but less than 18 years old on election day; able to read and write Filipino, English or the local dialect; qualified members of the Katipunan ng Kabataan of the barangay where they intend to run for office and residents thereof at least one year immediately preceding the election; and must not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.
Campaigning is scheduled from Feb. 11, 2015 to Feb. 19, 2015.
On Elections Day, voters will choose one SK chairman and seven SK council members. PNAThe
But the Comelec is also asking Congress to immediately pass a measure deferring the SK elections to avoid wasting millions of pesos.
Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said legislators should approve House Bill 5209 before the poll body could go full blast on its preparations for the SK elections.
He noted that in the absence of a law deferring the SK elections, the Comelec has no choice but to start the bidding process for the election materials for the February 2015 electoral exercise.
“We are getting ready, but money will be wasted if we release the fund only to find out later that the elections will not push through. Big money is involved here,” Tagle said.
The Comelec has allocated P300 million to 400 million for the conduct of the SK polls on Feb. 21.
Some P22,767,784.40 has been allocated for the forwarding services for the deployment of election forms, supplies and paraphernalia. It is divided into four projects: for Cordillera Administrative Region, Regions I, II and III; National Capital Region, Regions IV-A, IV-B and V; Regions VI, VII and VIII; and Regions IX, X, XI, XII, Caraga and ARMM.