Davao Oriental solon wants 2022 barangay, SK elections postponed | Inquirer News

Davao Oriental solon wants 2022 barangay, SK elections postponed

/ 06:42 PM July 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker reportedly filed a bill seeking the suspension of the 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections scheduled this December 2022, a statement from the House of Representatives showed.

According to a news clip posted on the House website on Wednesday, Davao Oriental 2nd District Rep. Cheeno Miguel Almario filed House Bill No. 1367 which reschedules the said polls to October 9, 2023, instead.

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The proposal is supposedly meant to let the country recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors on the economy, along with the results of the recent 2022 national and local elections.

“An incoming lawmaker is seeking to buy more time for Filipinos and the country, to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as from the aftermath of the recent national and local elections,” information from the House said.

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“Rep. Cheeno Miguel Almario (2nd District, Davao Oriental) filed House Bill 1367, which seeks to postpone the December 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to October 9, 2023,” it added.

INQUIRER.net has asked the camp of Rep. Almario for a copy of the said House bill and to clarify some matters, but they have not responded as of posting time.

But the House’s Press and Public Affairs Bureau (PPAB) said that the upcoming polls would cost the government around P10 billion, which Almario supposedly said could be used to help the economy recover first.

“In his explanatory note on HB 1367, Almario stated that the two elections would cost the government roughly P10 billion, which could instead be used for initiatives to keep the people safe and help the economy bounce back,” the House’s PPAB said.

“‘On the other hand, the May 9, 2022 National and Local elections ushered in new sets of officials, elected and re-elected, who will definitely benefit from the experience of the existing barangay and SK officials in fighting the pandemic. Replacing these barangay and SK officials with a new set at this time, when the country is still trying to get back on its feet, will be counterproductive’,” the House added, quoting Almario.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) recently said that the barangay elections this December would continue even as the said polls have been suspended several times now.  However, they also acknowledged that the passage and enactment of law can suspend the elections.

READ: Comelec: Barangay, SK polls to push through in December unless new law is passed

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Different groups and personalities have already opposed any possible suspension of the said elections.  Just this July 5, Rep. Raoul Manuel of the Kabataan party-list urged voters to register, saying that elections should not be stopped.

Former senate president Vicente Sotto III also said last May that the barangay elections should continue, as it seems barangay officials now have longer terms than an elected president.

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