By Leslie Ann Aquino
Those planning to run in the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls have until Saturday, April 21 to file their Certificates of Candidacy (COC).
The Commission on Elections announced the extension of the filing of COC, Friday.
“Extended filing of COC for Brgy and SK candidates extended until tomorrow at 5 pm,” Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said in her twitter account @commrguanzon.
Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the extension was in view of the concern expressed by the National Youth Commission on the number of candidacies filed.
“In view of the National Youth Commission’s expressed concern that the number of candidacies filed, over the entire period for filing COCs, would fall short of the 338,584 Sangguniang Kabataan positions to be voted on in #BSKE2018, and with similar concerns being raised with regard to the number of COCs filed for the Barangay elections, the Commission en banc today ordered the extension of the period to file COCs, from 20 April, to 21 April 2018,” he said citing their Resolution No. 10310.
The Resolution also cited the initial reports from their field officials confirming not only the low turnout of candidates for the SK elections but also the Barangay elections.
“In order to prevent this low turnout of candidates, it is imperative to give additional time to potential candidates to file their COCs,” it further read.
The filing hours on April 21, 2018 will be from 8am to 5pm.
On Friday, the NYC urged the poll body to reconsider the extension of the deadline for the filing of the COCs for the SK elections.
“If this extension is granted by the COMELEC, it will provide ample time for more SK aspirants to complete the requirements for the filing of COCs,” NYC said hours before the Comelec announced the extension of the filing.
The Legal Network for Truthful Elections, meantime, welcomed the move.
“We welcome this move of Comelec. This is to give more time to our youth leaders to run in the SK elections,” the group said in their twitter account @lente_ph.
The group earlier expressed concerns over the low turnout among aspiring SK bets.
“The figures do not bode well in the context of barangay governance, most especially on matters affecting the youth in the barangay,” said LENTE.
As of April 19, there were 272,047 COCs filed for the SK Elections, including 56,727 gunning for SK Chairman and 215,320 gunning for SK Kagawad.
There are a total of 42,036 posts for SK Chairman and 294,252 posts for SK Kagawad that are up for grabs come Election Day.