February 24, 2024

■  Rimaliza A. Opiña 

The euphoria over the recently concluded 2023 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections is far from over as preparations are underway for the election of presidents of the SK Federation and Liga ng mga Barangay.

The Liga and the SKF officials will each have 11 officials composed of a president, vice president, and eight board of directors. By law, the presidents of the Liga and SKF will sit as ex-officio members of the city or municipal councils or provincial boards.

In Baguio, five names have surfaced as potential candidates for Liga president. They are PB-elect Rocky Aliping of General Emilio F. Aguinaldo, Van Oliver Dicang of Lower Quirino Hill, Karl Gabaen of Pucsusan, outgoing SKF president Levy Lloyd Orcales of South Central Aurora Hill, and Murphy Maspil of Holyghost Proper.

For SKF, no names for candidates for the top post have surfaced so far.

The Commission on Elections has reminded all candidates to submit their statement of election contributions (SOCE) on or before Nov. 29, regardless if they lost or did not pursue their candidacy. A winning candidate who fails to submit a SOCE will not be allowed to take oath and assume office by Nov. 30.

The National Youth Commission also issued an advisory on Oct. 30 imposing an additional requirement for SK officials.

In an advisory signed by NYC Chair Ronald Cardema, winning or appointed SK officials were told to undergo mandatory training before they can fully assume their post.

Meanwhile, outgoing Liga President Councilor Michael Lawana said the Liga and the DILG-Baguio field office will soon convene the Elections Committee for the holding of elections for Liga president.

As his and Orcales’ term will end on Nov. 29, Lawana said a committee will have to convene immediately and set schedules on when to file their candidacy, election period, oath-taking, and qualifications to avoid a vacuum when they exit.

He said during the period where no SKF and Liga presidents have been elected, their offices will have to close in the meantime as the tenure of their staff members will end on the same day as that of their term.

“We have to convene within 15 days para maiwasan ‘yung matagal na vacancy sa opisina. Maraming trabaho at assets na kailangan iturnover sa mga bagong papasok na opisyal,” Lawana told the Midland Courier.

Lawana said apart from schedules for the campaign and election, the Department of the Interior and Local Government will have to endorse this to the national Liga for issuance of a confirmation certificate before a duly-elected president can sit as ex-officio member of the sanggunian. The same process applies to the SKF with the NYC as lead agency.

Lawana said the Liga is planning to finish the election of ABC president by the second week of December.

The DILG, Liga ng mga Barangay and NYC are the offices in charge of the election of the roster of officials of the Liga and SKF.