Duterte signs law postponing barangay, SK polls

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 04 2017 10:08 AM | Updated as of Oct 04 2017 11:18 AM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the 120th founding anniversary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on September 26, 2017. Richard Madelo, Malacanang Photo

MANILA (UPDATE) – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a bill postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections this year.

Signed by the President on October 2, less than a month before the originally scheduled October 23 polls, Republic Act 10952 resets the barangay and SK elections to the second Monday of May 2018 (May 14).

Under the law, subsequent synchronized barangay and SK polls shall be held on the second Monday of May 2020 and every three years thereafter.

RA 10952 also allows incumbent barangay officials to remain in office until their successors are elected in the May 2018 polls.

The law also provides an amount of P6.09 billion as continuing appropriations for the conduct of the May 2018 barangay and SK polls.

Prior to the signing of the law, the Commission on Elections had already made preparations for the barangay and SK polls, including the setting up of the gun ban from October 1 to 30. The poll body has also finished printing ballots worth P59.5 million.

This is the second time that barangay elections were postponed since the President took office. The village polls were supposed to be held in October last year but were also put off.

The President has called for the postponement of barangay elections, claiming local officials involved in drug trafficking were likely to use their influence to remain in power.

He said "40 percent" of barangay captains nationwide were involved in illegal drugs.