Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Youth to Senators: Defend SK, Don't Delay Polls a Third Time
Youth leaders called on senators not to postpone the upcoming SK Elections a third time. The senate committee of local government recommended in their committee report to postpone the SK Elections to October 30, 2017 and is expected to be voted upon by the senate later today.
"A third postponement of the SK polls sends a dangerous message that youth participation is optional. We hope our legislators do not mean to disenfranchise the youth once again and instead heed our call not to delay the SK elections," said Ellah Delerio from the SK Reform Coalition.
The youth groups emphasized that the postponement is de facto abolition of the youth institution.
"The SK is effectively abolished, with the SK remaining vacant for at least another year. The youth are once again robbed of their right of suffrage and right to participate in village governance," said Delerio.
The groups further warned that the proposed postponement have led to renewed calls to abolish the youth institution.
"With the planned postponement of the SK polls, calls to abolish the SK have surfaced once more, coming from House Speaker Alvarez no less. Those debates have already been settled in the last congress with the passage of the SK Reform Act." said Rafaela David, Chairperson of Akbayan Youth.
The groups further lambasted comments that belittle the youth's contribution as "useless" to governance at the village level.
"We have many youth leaders who have served their communities well through the SK and such misinformed and irresponsible statements fail to recognize the substantial contribution of the youth in the past," said David.
The youth groups instead sought the support of the senators in ensuring the full implementation of the SK Reform Act.
"Instead of pushing through with the planned postponement, we hope our legislators would put their weight behind the full implementation of the reformed SK and show their commitment to the youth. It is time to give the new SK a chance," concluded David.