House eyes postponement of SK, barangay polls to Oct. 23, 2017
The House of Representatives is eyeing to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to the fourth Monday of October 2017.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Floor Leader Ilocos Norte Rep. Rudy Fariñas on Tuesday rallied all House members in a meeting to get their support in the filing of a House bill deferring the village and SK polls this year to October 23, 2017.
The House version of the bill would be similar to the bill filed at the Senate for the postponement, Fariñas said.
Fariñas said the elections would be scheduled at least one week before the celebration of All Saints’ Day (Undas.)
The Majority Floor Leader said the House version would have the effect of adopting the Senate version to do away with the bicameral conference, where both Houses of Congress meet to thresh out the differing versions and come up with a united proposed legislation.
Fariñas said the postponement would allow President Rodrigo Duterte to have a free hand in filling up the vacancies in the bureaucracy and avoid the elections ban of 45 days before a regular election and 30 days before a special election as stated in the Omnibus Election Code.
“Upon the actions of the president, in his desire to fill up the bureaucracy to be given ample time to do it, if we push through with the elections, if he’ll be hampered, he won’t be able to reorganize the bureaucracy,” Fariñas said.
Fariñas said the bill would not tackle other pertinent issues, such as Alvarez’s proposal to abolish the SK and the barangay council, or even the holdover provision whether or not the barangay captains and SK officials would retain their posts until they are replaced.
Fariñas said these issues would be addressed in separate bills that may be filed later.
“(It’s) very clear na pinag-uusapan lang natin ang (that we are just discussing) resetting. Let’s not introduce other matters,” Fariñas said.
He said the leadership would file the bill that would be passed on first reading and referred to the electoral and suffrage committee Tuesday, approved on second reading next week Monday or Tuesday, and on third and final reading by Sept. 12 before the President signs it into law. RAM/rga