Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos on Monday said he has submitted recommendations to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on whether or not to call for barangay elections.
Abalos was sort of vague however, as to what kind of recommendation he gave, saying the public should just wait for the announcement by Marcos about the matter.
(If you would ask me about barangay elections, if it is going to be postponed or not, we’ve already made some recommendations here to the President. Let’s just wait for his announcement.)
The October 2016 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls were postponed to October 2017. From then, it was postponed to May 2018. It was reset to May 2022 and again to December 2022.
In May, then House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said more than P8 billion worth of savings could be generated if the barangay elections scheduled this year would be postponed.
He suggested that such amount could instead be allocated for the COVID-19 response.
On June 25, Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez said they are “studying thoroughly the plus and the minuses of spending or calling for elections, and there is nothing definite yet.”
Rodriguez said Marcos is looking at the possibility of passing a law giving barangay officials a five-year term of office.
Meanwhile, Abalos also said the DILG would speed up the issuance of permits for telecommunication towers by the local government units.
“We must fast-track 2,086 pending LGU permits in 341 cities and municipalities for telecommunication towers to speed up interconnectivity,” Abalos said.
Abalos pointed out that the people want to have internet connection, and the lack of towers might be one of the reasons it is slowing down.
While acknowledging that involved LGUs might have concerns about the applications for the construction of these towers in their areas, Abalos said the LGUs’ reasons should be checked if they are valid.
In line with the implementation of ease of doing business, he also encouraged LGUs to have a digitalized system in issuing permits such as barangay clearance and business permits.