House OKs barangay, SK polls postponement to Dec. 5, 2022
MANILA, Philippines — Fresh from a month-long congressional break, the House of Representatives approved on final reading Monday the bill postponing the village and youth council elections from May 2020 to Dec. 5, 2022.
The vote was 194-6. Under House Bill No. 4933, the next barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections after the 2022 ballotting will happen on the first Monday of December 2025 and every three years thereafter.
Senate gave its nod to a similar proposal last September 30.
Once signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte who’s in favor of it, the cancellation of the local polls effectively extends the term of incumbent barangay officials who won in the May 2018 elections to four years.
The approval of the proposal is expected to get smooth-sailing as House leaders already realigned the P5.7-billion budget for the local polls under the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020.
Members of the House Makabayan opposition bloc have denounced the looming third postponement of the local elections under the Duterte administration. It can be remembered that the Oct. 31, 2016, local poll was first moved to October 23, 2017, and then to May 14, 2018.
Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago lamented this term extension of village officials which she said would taint their autonomy and independence. The cancellation of polls is also a violation of the public’s right to suffrage, according to Elago.
“Kritikal ang regular na halalan sa barangay upang hindi makumpromiso ang autonomy o ang kalayaan na mamahala ng batay sa sariling kagustuhan o kautusan at nonpartisanship ng barangay na mga nasasangkalan kung tila hawak na sa leeg at higit pang nakaasa o nakasalalay ang termino ng mga opisyales ng barangay at SK sa kagustuhan ng Kongreso at Malacañang,” the progressive lawmaker said.
(The regular election is a critical safeguard to the autonomy and independence of local officials and nonpartisan barangays to govern based on their will. It seems they are being controlled by Congress and Malacañang if the length of their terms is dictated by the two institutions.)
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