Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday said he is in favor of postponing the December 5, 2022 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
Funds allocated for the purpose could be used as “ayuda” or aid to millions of Filipinos affected by the continuous hike in oil prices due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Manila mayor said.
“Don’t go ahead with the barangay elections this year. The national elections just ended in May. Then another election for barangay officials in December. Better to use the allocated money for ayuda and other urgent needs of the people in these difficult times,” Moreno said.
He held a town hall meeting in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija with more than a thousand residents composed mostly of farmers, public transport drivers, and ordinary folks.
In 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11462, or the postponement of the May 2020 barangay and SK elections to December 2022.
Under the law, village elections after the December 2022 vote will subsequently take place on the first Monday of December 2025 and every three years thereafter.
As early as November last year, House Bill 10425 seeking to postpone December 5, 2022 to May 6, 2024 has been filed at the House of Representatives by Davao Oriental Rep. Joel Almario.
About P8 billion has been allocated in the national budget for the barangay elections.
“As I have said, we will find a way to help the people. And one of those is money or resources. So, if I am the one to be asked, let’s first extend that barangay election by another year, or a year and a half,” the presidential bet said.
“The money we will use in the election, we can use it to help the people, like gasoline, or to help with food, or we will buy a ferltilizer and distribute it to farmers,” Moreno told reporters.
“So, the money that will be used in the election for the barangay, I’d rather spend it so that people can reflect first, and we can cross them. The barangay election, hopefully, can be canceled first, let’s extend it for about a year or about a year and a half,” Moreno said.
The 47-year-old presidential candidate also urged the country’s economic managers to find ways in providing immediate relief for our people on account of the continuing economic crisis exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which will impact on prices not only of oil but also food and push inflation beyond public endurance.
“Our economic managers should look at these problems with the same ‘malasakit’ that President Duterte has shown in the past five years that as the country’s chief executive,” Moreno said.
Five months ago, Moreno was like a “voice in the wilderness” when he appealed for the national government to cut by 50 percent the excise taxes on oil and electricity because of hardships being experienced by the everyone, particularly the ordinary people who are most affected by the lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That was even before the Russia-Ukraine conflict erupted.
Moreno’s running mate, Dr. Willie Ong, asked the people to keep praying that the conflict will soon end and hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin will not escalate the conflict that has caused death and destruction and the displacement of some 2 million refugees.
“There are many issues with prices. Covid is just a small thing compared to a possible nuclear war in Ukraine. Read it, let’s pray that it doesn’t continue. Every 3 o’clock we just pray. That is all we can do, and I hope President Duterte will listen to my suggestion on the nuclear emergency. It’s not politics, it’s life. I have been studying it for a long time, so with the help of Mayor Isko Moreno, of course,” Ong said.
Moreno, the vice-presidential candidate Doc Willie, Aksyon Demokratiko senatorial bets Dr. Carl Balita, Samira Gutoc, and Jopet Sison along with guest senatorial candidate John Castriciones are on a two-day sortie in Nueva Ecija province.
After a town hall meeting here in Cabiao town, Team Isko’s motorcade proceeded to the towns of San Isidro, Gapan and San Leonardo, where thousands of Novo Ecijanos lined the streets to personally see and touch the hand of Moreno.
Moreno suffered cuts and bruises in his arm and hands as people jostled beside his float to touch him, shake his hands in overflowing endearment.
The former garbage scavenger who became a councilor, vice mayor and mayor of Manila would stop the motorcade a number of times whenever he sees an elderly or disabled person in the crowd.
He would then step down the float to comfort these people like what he did in previous motorcades.