Senate votes to postpone barangay, SK polls to December 2023

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Senate votes to postpone barangay, SK polls to December 2023
People queue outside SM City Sta. Mesa in Quezon City to register for the upcoming December 2022 barangay elections despite the light rainfall on Thursday, July 21, 2022.
The STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate voted 17-2 on Tuesday to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, even if this is projected to cost the government billions more and despite opposition by election watchdogs.

Under Senate Bill No. 1306, the date of the frequently postponed village and youth council polls will be moved to Dec. 12, 2023 from Dec. 5, 2022.

Subsequent barangay and SK elections will also be moved to the second Monday of May 2026 and every three years after.

The bill also inserts a new provision that says barangay and SK officials elected in the May 2026 elections will begin their terms at noon of June 30 following their election.

The postponement is seen to cost P18 billion, according to the Commission on Elections, which is almost twice the P8.45 billion to be spent if the polls were to happen this year.

But the poll body may have to tighten its belt under the Senate proposal, which put a 15% cap on the additional budget for the postponed elections.

The House of Representatives voted last week to reschedule the barangay and SK polls to Dec. 4, 2023.

This came despite the Comelec having said that it is "70% done and in full swing with the preparations despite proposals to postpone the BSKE" and “all systems go in procurement offices to ensure that ballots will be printed."

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