Special elections up for 478 vacant SK positions
posted 20-Jan-2019  ·  
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All youth aged 15 to 30 are being urged to register and vote in the special elections to be held anytime this week or the next in 138 barangays in Catanduanes to fill up 478 vacancies in their respective Sangguniang Kabataan.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) provincial director Uldarico Razal Jr. told the Tribune that the conduct of the elections is pursuant to DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2018-212 issued by Secretary Eduardo Año last Dec. 20, 2018.

The DILG was prompted to issue the circular pursuant to Republic Act 10742 or the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015 after many barangays had incomplete sets of SK officials. Not enough candidates ran for membership in the youth body in the synchronized barangay and SK elections on May 14, 2018.

As a result, the incomplete SKs, some of which is composed of only the chairman, failed to convene to approve programs and projects for barangay youth development.

While the youth polls is supposed to be held within 30 days from the circular’s approval, he clarified that his office received the copy of the circular only last Dec. 27 or 28, 2018.

Dir. Razal added that the elections will be done by barangay, with the date to be fixed by the concerned municipal local government operations officer.

“We cannot do anything about it if there are still places with incomplete SKs even after the special elections,” he said, referring to the possibility that there could be few candidates to fill up the existing vacancies in the youth body.

Under the guidelines, a special assembly of the Katipunan ng Kabataan will be called for the purpose by the SK chairman in coordination with the DILG officer and the local office of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in the municipality.

In the province of Catanduanes, the incomplete SKs in 138 barangays are scattered among all 11 towns, with Bato having the highest percentage with 23 of its 27 barangays having the same problem. The capital town of Virac has 41 incomplete SKs out of its 63 villages while San Miguel has 13 out of its 24 SKs.

Overall, 21 of the 315 barangays in the province have their SKs with only the chairman elected and none of the required seven members.

These are in Baras, 1 (P. Teston); Bato, 7 (Aroyao Pequeno, Batalay, Buenavista, Ilawod Poblacion, Santa Isabel and Tamburan); San Andres, 3 (San Roque, Sta. Cruz and San Vicente); San Miguel, 4 (Boton, Buhi, Obo and Siay); and, Virac, 7 (Salvacion, San Pablo, San Pedro. Ibong Sapa, Marilima, Palta Small and Talisoy).

Qualified to vote in the special election are Filipino citizens residing in their barangay for at least six months, at least 15 years old but not more than 30 years old at the time of the special election, and a registered member of the Katipunan ng Kabataan as certified by the SK secretary.

On the other hand, the candidate must be a qualified KK voter, a resident of the barangay for at least one year preceding the date of the elections, 18 to 24 years old on the date of the elections, able to read and write Filipino, English and the local dialect, not related to any incumbent elected official, and not convicted by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude.

The special elections must be announced or posted at least five days before the scheduled date, with the exact number of vacant positions to be specified.

A Board of Election Supervisors (BES) composed of the DILG officer as chairperson, COMELEC election officer and CSO/NGO representative as members, will prepare the list of voters and decide all election controversies.

A Canvass and Elections Committee, composed of the SK chairperson and any two members of the KK to be designated by the chairperson, will oversee the nomination and casting of votes as well as the counting and tallying.

Those elected in the special elections, who will hold office for the unexpired portion of the term, shall undergo the DILG’s mandatory training program before assuming office.

The DILG memo circular stated that the funds for holding of the special elections shall be chargeable to the SK funds as provided by RA 10742.

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