Press Release
September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022

Mr. President, Madam Chair, this is just a short manifestation and question on the proposed postponement of the BSKE.

To date, Congress has already enacted several laws postponing the Barangay and SK Elections and, in effect, overextended the terms of the barangay officials.

My office received the position paper from our barangay youth leaders, signed by more than a hundred members of the Model SK Network and I just would like to put their position on record because our young people need to be heard.

According to these SK leaders, ang muling pagpapaliban ng halalan ay implikasyon sa makabuluhang demokrasya. This postponement -- which is not the first -- is a setback to democracy and a disincentive to participation.

Mr. President and Madam Chair I echo our young leaders in the barangays that elections are essential in strengthening our democracy, especially at the grassroots.

By holding elections, our young leaders asserted, which I also agreed with in principle, we guarantee the right to vote, create opportunities to hold barangay leaders accountable, and incentivize leaders' performance for good barangay governance. That's for the record.

Pangalawa po, Mr. President, I would like to ask if the Madam Chair is amenable to reconsidering the proposal to hold the election on May 2023 instead of December 2023.

I am asking this as many of the barangay leaders, people's organizations, and other stakeholders I've talked to are inclined to support the more reasonable holding of elections in May 2023 for several reasons: it is within the seven months needed preparatory time by the COMELEC; less required additional funding to support the elections; enable our barangay and SK leaders to serve office for five years - although not as much as almost double their original three-year terms if we postpone til December 2023; and lastly, so we can align the next dates of the elections with that of the period of 3 years, as anyway also proposed in the Committee Report.

At the proper time, I will propose this amendment and hope for the consideration of the good chair.

Thank you, Mr. President and Madam Chairperson.

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