A total of 314 youngsters from the different barangays of Flora have registered for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, which will be simultaneously held with the Barangay polls on October 31, 2016.
They are part of the three million nationwide estimated by the Commission on Elections who have taken advantage of the special registration that ended on July 30.
The final tally will be out by the middle of August.
Of these three million new registrants, the COMELEC estimated around two million voters for the SK polls.
Local election officer Maricel Tolentino said that these 314 new registrants of Flora are those who are 15 to 17 years old only.
Figures for 18 years old and above were still being finalized.
The last SK election was held in 2010. The law for the youth group was abolished before the 2013 barangay polls.
But President Benigno Aquino III signed the law for the re-establishment on January 15, 2016 through Republic Act 10742 otherwise known as the “Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015.”
Among its pertinent provisions are lowering the age limit of voters from 15 and increasing it to 30 years old while those who can seek for SK seat is only from 18-24 and that there shall be no candidate allowed if he/she is “related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent elected national official or to any incumbent elected regional, provincial, city, municipal, or barangay official, in the locality where he or she seeks to be elected…”
The filing of candidacy for both SK and barangay will be on October 3-5.
The duly elected chairman of the Katipunan ng Kabataan will automatically seat in the barangay council with a fixed term of three years.
There shall also be a SK Federation president who will be elected among the chairmen of Katipunan ng Kabataan from each barangay and become the youth representative in the municipal legislative body while the president of the SK Federation provincial level will also become an ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan..
The law also states that 10 percent of the general fund of the barangay shall be set aside for the SK.
Another important provision of the new law is that all SK officials with good standing will be exempted from tuition fees in any public tertiary school and such other benefits.
The law states that:
- Be exempt from payment of tuition and matriculation fees while enrolled in any public tertiary school including state colleges and universities and those locally funded public educational institutions within or nearest their area of jurisdiction. The National Government, through the DILG, shall reimburse said college or university the amount of the tuition and matriculation fees”
- Be exempt from taking the National Service Training Program-Civic Welfare Training Service (NSTP-CWTS) subjects.
- Be excused from attending their regular classes, if they are currently enrolled in any school, while attending then- regular or special Sangguniang Kabataan meetings, and the Sangguniang Barangay sessions, in case of the Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson.
- Be provided by the National Government with Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) coverage;
- Be entitled to receive actual travelling reimbursements as may be authorized by law, and subject to the availability of funds:
- The Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson shall have the same privileges enjoyed by other Sangguniang Barangay officials under this Act subject to such requirements and limitations provided herein.
Coincidentally, the law also provides that there shall be in every barangay, municipality, city and province an annual activity to be known as the Linggo ng Kabataan on the week where the 12th of August falls to coincide with the International Youth Day.
“The Sangguniang Kabataan, in the case of barangay, and the respective LYDC in cooperation with the Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan, in the case of municipality, city and province, shall take the lead in this observance.”