Drilon proposes postponement of barangay, SK polls to May 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The barangay and Sanggunian Kabataan (SK) elections should be moved from May 2020 to May 2021, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon proposed Wednesday.
During a hearing of the Senate committee on electoral reforms, Drilon said holding the polls in May 2021 is “reasonable” as it will allow incumbent barangay and SK officials to complete their term of three years, as stated under the Local Government Code.
It is also in line with the request of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that the barangay and SK polls be held at least one year before or after the May 2022 national and local elections.
“If we postpone it and complete the three years of officials, it means the elections will be held in May 2021 which is one year before the May 2022 national elections,” Drilon said.
“We should allow the present barangay officials to complete their three-year term which ends on May 2021,” he added.
National President of Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas (LNB) Eden Pineda appealed during the hearing that the May 2020 elections be postponed to allow incumbent barangay officials to implement their programs.
“If we’re going to have the elections next year, ito ang pinaka-shortest history of barangay elections which is only for two years,” Pineda said.
“We are just about to implement the programs for barangays and for a short period of time, nandito na naman sa elections. We could not concentrate more on the programs,” she added.
Isabela 6th District Rep. Faustino Dy argued that having the barangay and SK polls next year will be “costly” and “ineffective” for both the government and the barangay officials.
He noted that the barangays are currently conducting trainings to its officials and personnel and having the polls next year runs the “risk” of the replacement of the personnel if another barangay chairman is elected.
“Kapag may nanalong kapitan may chance na pinapalitan lahat ng kasama nila. We waste all these government funds and training,” Dy said.
“Malaking focus ang mapupunta sa elections rather than sa mga programs na we need to implement. We don’t have ample time to prove to our constituents yung mga programs namin na pa-start pa lang ay may possibility na mag-end,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Comelec Commissioner Antonio Kho revealed that the polling body is already in preparation to conduct a May 2020 elections.
However, should the polls be postponed, Kho requested that it should not be close to the May 2022 national and local elections.
“We request the Senate as well as the House that it [barangay and SK polls] should not be close to the elections on May 2022,” Kho said.
“A one year cap would be enough for us to prepare for the barangay and SK election,” he added.
The hearing tackled Senate Bill No. 201 and 222, which both seeks to postpone the barangay and SK elections.
Senate Bill 201, which is initiated by Senator Christopher “Bong” Go proposes that the polls will be postponed to October 2022, while Senate Bill 222, initiated by Senator Imee Marcos, wants the elections to be held on May 2023. /muf
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.