Lawmaker files bill postponing barangay, SK polls for third time

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 16 2018 01:25 PM

MANILA - Another bill postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections scheduled this May was filed at the House of Representatives.

House Bill No. 7072 filed by Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel seeks to postpone the elections until October 2018.

"Given the coordination costs and expenses of organizing the elections, it is suggested to give the Commission on Elections and other involved agencies additional time to further ensure credible and effective barangay elections," Pimentel said in the explanatory note.

Last week, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali announced in Agusan del Sur that he too filed a bill seeking the postponement of the May 2018 barangay and SK polls.

"My bill is for (the postponement until) May 2019 but Cong. Johnny Pimentel's bill is for October 2018. I am okay with either," Umali told ABS-CBN News.

Umali said a plebiscite to ratify a new constitution may coincide with the barangay and SK elections should lawmakers approve its postponement.

The House is in the process of amending the 1987 Constitution towards a shift to a federal form of government.

Should Congress approve either of the proposals for postponement, it would be the third time for the village elections to be moved. The barangay and SK elections were originally scheduled on October 2016, which was moved to October 2017. It was again reset to May 2018.

In 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte urged his allies in the legislature to move the polls to a later date, claiming it may be rigged by barangay officials who are involved in the illegal drug trade.

Earlier this week, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he saw no reason to postpone the elections again, but also said he would listen to the consensus of the majority on the matter.