Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez filed a bill lengthening the term of office of barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) or youth council officers from three years to five years.
House Bill 7123 amends Section 43 of the Local Government Code, under which barangay and SK officials enjoy a tenure of three years and a three consecutive term limit.
The bill maintains the term limit.
The proposed longer stay in office would take effect in the first barangay and SK elections after the enactment of the proposed amendatory law.
In suggesting a longer tenure, Rodriguez, chair of the House committee
on constitutional amendments, said the three-year term “is too short a time for the unity and stability in barangay leadership and affairs.”
“It is not enough to ensure that the programs of the barangay are carried out properly, especially considering the fact that it cannot be denied that the last year of the term is basically used for
campaigning,” he said.
He said the additional term “would ensure more stability in the barangay level and ensure that the programs initiated by the current leaders would come to fruition.”
Rodriguez, who chairs of the House committee on constitutional amendments, added that less frequent elections would lessen discord among the population.
“It is common knowledge that elections, whether national, local or barangay, prove to be divisive among the populace. Candidates and their supporters try to destroy their opponents by using any means necessary just to be able to secure victory,” he stressed.
He noted that the Commission on Elections, which has investigated numerous complaints about alleged irregularities in the last barangay and SK polls five years ago, is just about to come out with its report.
He said the report would indicate “who would be held liable for the late delivery of ballots and elections returns, which caused the delay in the conduct of elections in several polling centers nationwide.”
“Also, many election documents were left behind by the shipping companies tapped by the poll body because of packaging delays at the National Printing Office in Quezon City,” he said.
Such complaints are proof of the divisiveness and problems encountered during elections, he said.