House adopts resolution postponing candidacy filing by 1 week

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2018 04:24 PM | Updated as of Sep 11 2018 10:47 AM

MANILA - The House of Representatives has adopted a concurrent resolution that seeks a one week delay in the filing of the certificates of candidacy for the May 2019 Midterm National and Local Elections.

No one objected to the measure, which was authored by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr.

Arroyo and Andaya, in House Concurrent Resolution 20, urged the Commission on Elections to reset to October 11-17, 2018 from October 1-15 2018 the filing of the certificates of candidacy in connection with the May 13, 2019 National and Local elections.

The leaders cited both Comelec resolution 10420 dated September 7, 2018 which set the period for the filing of certificates of candidacy on October 1 to 5 and Concurrent Resolution 19, which set the legislative calendar to have congressional sessions from August 28, 2018 to October 12, 2018 and adjourn from October, 2018 to November 11, 2018.

“The House of Representatives is currently deliberating on the proposed 2019 General Appropriations Bill and other priority measures that require their utmost and undivided attention," the resolution read.

"To enable Members of Congress to fully attend to their legislative duties and meet the deadline for the filing of the certificates of candidacy for the 2019 national and local elections, it is imperative to reset the period for the filing of the certificates of candidacy at a later date," it said.

The resolution was signed by Andaya and Arroyo. During Monday’s plenary session, the measure was referred to the Rules Committee.

"Malaki ang maitutulong ng re-scheduling ng filing of candidacy para matapos ang mga trabaho sa Kongreso bago tayo pumasok sa election campaign period," Andaya said in a statement after the adoption of the resolution.

(The re-scheduling of the filing of candidacy will be a big help for Congress to finish its work before entering election campaign period.)

Concurrent Resolutions refer to matters affecting the operations of both houses and must be passed in the same form by both chambers. These are not referred to the President for his signature, and they do not have the force of law. Concurrent resolutions set the time of adjournment of a Congress and to express the “sense of Congress” on a particular subject matter.

Earlier, a lawmaker proposed that the filing of certificates of candidacy for next year's elections be pushed back to January, closer to the polling day.

AKO Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe said many lawmakers running for reelection spend more time in their districts to campaign instead of attending sessions at the Batasan Pambansa.

"Dapat kasi pag ikaw nag-file ng certificate of candidacy nafi-feel mo na parang eleksyon na, nafi-feel mo parang labanan na," AKO Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe told reporters.

(When you file the certificate of candidacy, you should feel that it's election day, that it's really time to fight.)

The Commission on Elections recently announced that the filing of candidacies for the May 2019 elections will be scheduled from October 1-5, 2018.

The next Congressional break is scheduled from October 13, 2018 - November 11, 2018

MIGHT BE DIFFICULT

In a message to ABS-CBN News on its Twitter account, former Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said the proposed schedule from the House of Representatives might prove to be difficult.

He said the Election Registration Board is mandated by law to conduct a hearing for the confirmation of the applications for voter registration done from July to September this year.

"This is the requirement of the law. The result of which will be the basis for the list of registered voters for the 2019 elections," he said.

"Baka mahirap yung resolution ng House of Representatives asking the filing of COCs be moved from Oct 1-5 to Oct 11-17."