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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Senate okays on 2nd reading bill postponing brgy., SK poll

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The proposed measure to postpone the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) scheduled on December 5 this year passed the Senate on second reading.

Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel and Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros opposed the deferment of the elections to next year.

Before the voting on the second reading, Hontiveros proposed that instead of holding the elections on December 2023, the polls should be conducted in May 2023.

Senator Imee Marcos, the sponsor of the measure, rejected Hontiveros’s suggestion but promised to tackle this during the bicameral meeting.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano recommended an amendment that a candidate eligible to run in the December 2022 SK elections should also be eligible in the December 2023 polls.

Under the proposed measure, the barangay and SK elections will be held on the second Monday of December 2023. The term of the elected officials will commence on January 1, 2024.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday meanwhile cited several reasons for revising the calendar of activities for the Dec. 5 BSKE.

Despite the approval of the House version of the bill, the Comelec continues to prepare for the Dec. 5 polls. Comelec chair George Garcia said preparations for the polls will continue in the absence of a law postponing it.

The poll body decided to revise the period of filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) from Oct. 6 to 13 to Oct. 22 to 29, 2022.

“The House version of the Bill does not include a provision on what will happen to COCs filed from Oct. 6-13, 2022, in case the bill to postpone the BSKE becomes a law,” Comelec acting spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said in a statement.

“There is no certainty as well if the Senate version will have a similar provision on COCs filed on the said period, as above,” he added.

The Comelec also decided to move the gun ban period, which is now from Nov. 6 until Dec. 20, 2022, from the original date of Oct. 6 to Dec. 12.

“Any violation of the gun ban and other Prohibited Acts (Election Offenses) starting Oct. 6, 2022, that will be subjected to preliminary investigation, inquest or perhaps, filing of appropriate information in regional trial courts will be significantly affected and complicated in case the BSKE postponement bill becomes a law,” Laudiangco said.

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