House passes bill postponing barangay, SK polls | Inquirer News
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House passes bill postponing barangay, SK polls

/ 05:20 AM September 21, 2022
Tallying votes for the May 2018 barangay and SK polls. STORY: House passes bill postponing barangay, SK polls

ROADSIDE TALLY | Votes are counted manually at one of the roadside precincts in the 2018 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on Boni Serrano Avenue at Barangay Valencia, Quezon City. (File photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to pass on third and final reading a bill postponing to Dec. 4, 2023, the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections scheduled on Dec. 5 this year, despite the objection of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

A total of 264 lawmakers voted to approve House Bill (HB) No. 4673, which was a consolidation of 43 other similar measures, while six voted against it, with three abstentions.

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Under the bill, the newly elected barangay and SK leaders would begin their term at noon of Jan. 1, 2024. Subsequent elections would be held on the first Monday of December 2026 and every three years thereafter with the new officials assuming office at noon of the first day of the following year.

HB 4673 also included a provision allowing incumbent officials to remain in a holdover capacity “unless sooner removed or suspended for cause.”

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Comelec chair George Erwin Garcia earlier said that a postponement would be more costly for the government, adding that they would need P18.44 billion to hold the polls in 2023. The amount will cover the costs for continuing voters’ registration, and the honoraria for election service workers.

A total of P8 billion was earlier allotted for the holding of the barangay and SK polls this year.

The three-member Makabayan bloc and independent opposition lawmaker Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman were among those who voted against HB 4673, with the latter saying it was not “legally feasible” to realign funds for the elections for pandemic response and stimulus packages.

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TAGS: 19th Congress, 2022 barangay elections, House of Representatives
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