Watchdogs oppose proposed deferment of barangay, SK polls

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 21 2022 03:28 PM

New voters register ABS-CBN News
New voters register at the Comelec office in Manila on June 4, 2022 for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Two poll watchdogs believe the December 2022 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections should push through despite fresh calls from lawmakers for its postponement.

According to Legal Network for Truthful Elections executive director Ona Caritos, the conduct of such political exercise has long been delayed.

"For us in Lente, it's not a good reason to postpone the barangay and SK elections because it has already been postponed for the past 6 years," she told ANC.

This comes after several lawmakers from both houses of Congress filed bills seeking to postpone the village and youth council polls.

The last barangay elections were held in May 2018.

The supposed May 2020 election for barangay leaders and youth councils was moved to Dec. 5 this year through a law.

Former National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections chairperson Gus Lagman found it unacceptable to defer the polls so funds could be used for COVID-19 response.

"With that kind of reason, we might as well not have elections because it's going to cost us billions of pesos," he told ANC.

The total budget of the barangay and SK elections is P8.4 billion, according to the Commission on Elections.

Lagman also slammed as "ridiculous" views that the village vote should be delayed anew because the May 2022 elections had caused divisiveness among the electorate.

"Let's not have elections anymore... because it will promote divisiveness. They just want to extend their terms," he said.

As of last week, over 1.3 million people have registered as new voters, according to Comelec.

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