JUST a few hours after the approval at the committee level, the House of Representatives did not waste time and immediately passed on second reading the measure postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls.
Members of the House present at Tuesday’s plenary session unanimously approved House Bill 3384 principally filed by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, through viva voce.
The measure is the same as the Senate version, so minimal debates are expected at the Bicameral Conference Committee.
Under the measure, the elections will be moved from October 2016 to October 2017.
Likewise, the bill contains a hold-over provision meaning the incumbents will remain in their position for another year unless President Rodrigo Duterte ordered their replacement with officers-in-charge.
“The approval on third and final reading will be next week,” Cibac Rep. Sherwin Tugna, chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, said.
According to Tugna, the Congress leaders want the postponement in line with administration’s move to get rid of barangay chairpersons allegedly coddling drug suspects and tolerating drug operations.
“All incumbent officials shall remain in office,” the amended bill read.
The Senate also passed on second reading its version of the bill seeking a one-year postponement of the barangay and SK elections.
Senate Bill 1112 aims to move the twin elections, originally scheduled on October 31, to the fourth Monday of October or October 23 next year, in con- sonance with the proposal of the House of Representatives.