Postponement of October 2013 barangay poll eyed

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012


CEBU CITY -- Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said on Tuesday that the House and Senate leaderships are now eyeing the postponement of the October 2013 barangay election to synchronize it with the 2016 presidential election.

In his speech during a lunch meeting with 55 Cebu City barangay chiefs at Cebu Grand Convention, Enrile said the country has several scheduled elections such as May 10, 2010 presidential election, October 25, 2010 election, the supposed November 2010 election of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Armm), the coming May 2013 election, to be followed by the October 2013 barangay election.

“We have too many elections in the Philippines. That’s why we postponed the Armm election so it can be synchronized with the May 2013 election, and we are definite on our stand to postpone the barangay election and synchronize it with the May 2016 presidential election”, Enrile said.

Enrile added that what they have initially agreed in the Senate is that barangay officials will have a fixed 6-year term with only one re-election. This means that a newcomer can be elected in 2016 and seek re-election in 2022.

Majority of the village chiefs present clapped their hands and shouted yes! They are in favor of a 6-year term because three years is too short if incumbent barangay officials have lined up long-term projects.

“We accept the fact that the barangay is a very important branch of government because barangay officials are dealing directly with the grassroots. They know what exactly are the problems of the people. You are in the front line. The government must recognize that,” Enrile said.

Earlier, Rep. Pastor Alcover Jr. (Anad party-List) and Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu 3rd district) said they are not only advocating for a longer term of barangay officials but for giving them a standard compensation.

The postponement of the October 2013 election in 2013 is aimed not only for the continuity of project and program implementation in the barangay level but also with political efforts to be bring back the old two-party system, Enrile said.

He said the present multi-party political system is messy and funny because if an influential politician is kicked out of his party, he can always go to a sari-sari store to buy his own party.

Once the two-party system is back, Enrile said, the United Nationalists Alliance (UNA) will become an alternative to true democracy in the country because it is not an enemy of the administration Liberal Party but an instrument so the people could have choice.

ABC President Michael Ralota of Barangay T. Padilla who led the barangay chiefs in a meeting with Enrile said the proposed 6-year term with one re-election to barangay officials is good for the people whose leaders are performers but bad if their leaders are doing nothing.

Ralota said if this will push through, last termers cannot run in 2016. The second termer can run in 2016 but cannot seek reelection in 2022.

He said there will be no problem with the synchronized barangay and presidential elections because it will be automated and there will be no more party-lists because of the two-party system. (EOB)

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