Comelec hails delay of barangay polls
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday said it will now concentrate on preparing for the May 2022 presidential elections after the 2020 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls were officially postponed.
“The Comelec will now focus its energies on preparing for the 2022 national and local elections,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement.
No more ambiguity
He said the poll body welcomed the signing of Republic Act No. 11462 postponing the elections, saying its passage finally puts to rest the question of whether or not the barangay and SK elections will be held next year.
The law moves the elections from May 2020 to the first Monday of December 2022. This means that the barangay and SK officials elected in May 2018 will be in power for five years, instead of just two.
Not everyone happy
The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) reiterated its opposition to the postponement of the barangay and SK polls.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo also opposed the postponement of the polls that have already been postponed several times in the past.
Some lawmakers who supported the measure said that moving the election date was necessary to give barangay and SK officials more time to implement their projects.
But Namfrel secretary-general Eric Alvia said officials need not worry about their terms and projects because they could be reelected if voters see their good performance.
“But they have to submit themselves to the peoples’ mandate through periodic elections,” argued Alvia.
“I do not know what kind of message they are sending on how seriously the national leadership values the barangays and the SKs,” Pabillo said.
Under the new law, the village elections after the December 2022 vote will subsequently take place on the first Monday of December 2025 and every three years thereafter.
This is the third time the elections were postponed.
The elections were originally scheduled for May 2016 but were suspended twice before it was finally held in May 2018.
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