Comelec sees opportunities in postponement: Baragay, SK polls moved to 2022
Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said he hopes that barangay officials can implement more projects without having to be influenced by political aspirations.
Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV
Comelec sees opportunities in postponement: Baragay, SK polls moved to 2022
Lorraine L. Ecarma (Agence France-Presse) - December 5, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A local election official is taking the postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls positively.

Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said he hopes that barangay officials can implement more projects without having to be influenced by political aspirations.

“To implement programs without thinking of politics kay layo pa man ang elections… hopefully, by next year, makakita ta’g projects sa gobyerno geared towards the people already,” he said.

Castillano also hopes that the longer registration period, which will start by January or February next year, will be an opportunity to get more voters.

Last December 3, 2019, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed a bill, now Republic Act 11462, which moves the May 2020 barangay and Sanguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to December 2022.

This means the terms of the barangay and SK officials are extended for three years.

Prior to this, Duterte also signed Republic Act 10952, which moved the May 2016 barangay and SK elections to May 2018. The latest postponement would ensure that the officials would not serve for less than the three years as prescribed by Section 1 of the amended Republic Act 9164.

He disclosed that even before Duterte signed the bill, Congress already scrapped the Commission on Elections (Comelec)’s budget for the scheduled May polls.

“In fact, the budget supposed to be released for next year’s election was already scrapped by congress for next year’s budget. Among budget for next year, gi-slash na nila daan not to include the budget for the barangay election,” Castillano said.

This was reportedly done so that no funds would go to waste.

“They were already expecting nga wala gyu’y barangay election next year (They were already expecting that there will be no barangay elections),” Castillano said.

The postponement also means that the barangay and SK elections will take place on the same year as the local and national elections. Because of this, Castillano said the election budget for Comelec will be significantly bigger for 2021 and 2022.

Castillano said they hope to gain back the deactivated 322,751 voters in Cebu who failed to vote during the 2018 barangay and SK elections and the 2019 national and local elections.

He said they plan to conduct “Know Your Elections” seminars to encourage the youth to register and to educate them on the conduct of the elections.

“Taas-taas kaayo na siya na registration… 2020 and 2021 (This will be quite a long registration period… 2020 and 2021),” he said.

He said the Comelec will prioritize senior high school students during registration for the next barangay and SK elections in the hope that there will be fewer vacancies in SK. JMO (FREEMAN)

BARANGAY ELECTION SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN
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