Press Release
September 7, 2016


The Senate on Tuesday has approved on second reading the bill seeking a one-year postponement of the barangay and sangguniang kabataan (SK) elections.

Senate Bill 1112 aims to move the twin elections, originally scheduled on October 31, to the fourth Monday of October or October 23 next year, in consonance with the proposal of the House of Representatives which has also passed its version yesterday.

Among the salient amendments to the bill include a provision that states subsequent synchronized barangay and SK elections will be held on the second Monday of 2020 and every three years thereafter, since voter turnouts are higher when elections are held during summer.

In his sponsorship speech, Senator Sonny Angara, chairman of the local government committee, said the postponement will allow more time for the full implementation of the recently enacted SK Reform Act (Republic Act 10742), and for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to assure higher voter turnout.

The bill provides that due to the postponement, the term of incumbent barangay officials will be extended for a year unless they are removed or suspended from office.

"There must be safeguards that while incumbent barangay officials will remain in office, the postponement will not hinder the removal or suspension of officials facing charges especially those involved in drug cases," Angara said.

Under the measure, the construction or maintenance of barangay-funded roads and bridges, and the appointment or hiring of new employees, creation of new position, promotion, or giving of salary increases, renumeration or privileges in the barangay will be prohibited for 10 days immediately preceding the election.

The Duterte administration has pointed out that pushing through with the barangay and SK polls this year could break the momentum of the war against drugs, criminality and corruption due to the temporary bans and restrictions in government projects, processes and appointments.

SB 1112 also mandates the Sangguniang Barangay to use the SK Fund, equivalent to 10 percent of the barangay's general fund as provided under the SK Reform Act, only for youth development and empowerment programs until the new SK officials have been elected.

"Inuulit ko po, hindi natin isinasantabi ang karapatang bumoto ng bawat botante. Pansamantala lamang namin itong ipagpapaliban para mas maisayos at gawing mas makabuluhan ang eleksyon sa bansa," the senator said.

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