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Move to reset barangay, SK elections needs Congress approval

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Proposals to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections set in October would need the imprimatur of the incoming 17th Congress, senators said yesterday.

Senate President Franklin Drilon and Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara separately reminded the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that the move to reset the polls needs legislation.

While there were postponements of the barangay elections in the past, Angara said the decision rests with Congress and the President.

“In past years there have been postponements of barangay elections immediately after national elections so postponement is a possibility but, of course, it all depends on the incoming legislators and also the president,” Angara said.

Angara said the reason for postponement should be reviewed by the concerned agencies.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III, for his part, said he sees no problem if the barangay polls are postponed.

On the other hand, Sen. Ralph Recto said the Comelec should prepare for the October elections unless Congress rules otherwise.

“The job of Comelec is to hold elections as provided by the law. Only Congress can decide to postpone elections,” he added.

Speaking at a forum in Manila last Wednesday, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the October polls should be reset since the general elections have just been conducted.

“We will suggest that maybe it would be better if we postpone that,” he said. 

“We may be discussing this with the new chairman of the House committee on electoral reforms and the Senate counterpart.” 

The Comelec is also considering consulting incoming president Rodrigo Duterte about the matter.

Bautista said interest in the barangay and SK polls is historically low despite the huge costs of holding the twin elections.

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