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House body okays SK, bgy poll deferment

  • Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 189

THE House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms yesterday approved a proposed law resetting the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and barangay elections from October 31, 2016 to October 23, 2017 with village chairmen and councilors serving in a holdover capacity.

Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, who chairs the panel, said House Bill (HB) No. 3384 principally filed by Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez was approved to push reforms in the present barangay system.
    
“There has been no substantial changes,” Tugna told reporters in a chance interview.
    
Under the proposed law, the next barangay elections after 2017 will be held in May 2020 and will not coincide with the May 2019 midterm polls, as provided in the 1987 Constitution.
 
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andy Bautista who attended the hearing said the outcome of the proceeding was expected after Congress updated them about the plan as desired by President Duterte.
   
Camarines Sur Rep. L-Ray Villafuerte urged the Comelec to prepare for another round of voter registration, especially since Congress is bent on postponing the Oct. 31 barangay elections.
 
“With the likelihood of the House and the Senate passing in the weeks ahead a new law postponing the elections to next year, the Comelec should prepare for yet another round of voter registration,” Villafuerte said. 
    
Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu, one of the authors of the bill, welcomed the passage “to ensure reforms in the present barangay system by giving Congress time to deliberate on pending measures for its restructuring.”