MANILA - The National Youth Commission (NYC) on Thursday appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to push through with the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in October even as he floated the idea of postponing its twin barangay polls.
"Ang pakiusap po at panawagan ng NYC, baka naman po pwedeng kahit iyung SK elections ay ituloy natin just to give young people iyung pagkakataon na maging bahagi ng ating mga mekanismo for governance," NYC commissioner Percival Cendaña said in an interview with radio DZMM.
"Tingin po natin panahon na para ibalik ang SK na ngayon ay nireporma at binago natin para maglingkod sa interes ng kabataang Pilipino."
(The NYC appeals, maybe we can hold SK elections just to give young people a chance to be part of our mechanisms for governance. We think it is time to return the SK which has been reformed at overhauled to serve the interests of the Filipino youth.)
Duterte recently threatened to declare all barangay seats vacant and appoint these officials in a bid to weed out drugs from the most basic local government unit.
He made no mention however of plans about the SK elections, which are held alongside village polls.
Cendaña urged the President to give chance to the reforms introduced to the youth council following allegations that it had been a breeding ground of corruption and political dynasties.
Under the SK Reform and Empowerment Law, youth leaders with up to second degree blood ties to elected public officials can no longer run for the council whose transparency checks were also bolstered, Cendaña said.
"Sayang naman po kung hindi po ito maitutuloy kasi naging aktibo, excited and participating na po at naghahanda na ang mga kabataan na ilunsad itong bago at repormadong SK. Sayang naman po ang kanilang effort at enthusiasm kung mapo-postpone," he said.
The NYC commissioner said he was also open to the appointment of SK leaders by Duterte.