Senate OKs bill postponing barangay, SK polls on final reading
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate approved on Tuesday a measure that seeks to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
The Senate Bill No. 1306, sponsored by Senator Imee Marcos, is pushing to defer the barangay and SK polls to December 2023 instead of December 5, 2022.
The measure was approved during the Senate plenary with 17 affirmative votes, two negative votes, and no abstentions.
The Senate minority bloc, composed of Senators Aquilino Pimentel III and Risa Hontiveros, stressed their opposition to the proposal again.
The Senate minority leader explained his negative vote.
“I vote no to the postponement of barangay and SK elections to December 2023. Republic Act No. 11462 has scheduled the elections on December 5, 2022,” Pimentel said.
“There is no compelling reason not to implement the mandate of the law as we passed in December of 2019,” he argued.
Pimentel added that having unfinished business is not a sufficient reason to delay the elections for the said positions.
Hontiveros concurred with Pimentel’s opinion.
During the second reading of the bill, Hontiveros raised to amend the poll postponement to May 2023.
Chairperson of the Senate committee on electoral reforms and people’s participation, however, refused the opposition leader’s amendment.
Marcos earlier pointed out that repeated postponement of barangay and SK polls “merely underlies the unfinished business of deeper issues plaguing both the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan systems.”
“Thus, this proposed election postponement is a means to buy us time for a series of measures that the Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation is proposing to Congress. This is merely a preliminary measure to give us time to study and debate the deeper issues confronting the barangay and SK systems under our present law,” she previously said.
The senator likewise pushed to extend barangay and SK officials’ term from the current three years to six years and fix the polls for the said positions every May, the year following the presidential elections.
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