THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered barangay officials nationwide to hold elections for ex-officio members of the Provincial Board, City Council and Municipal Council.
Acting Interior Secretary Catalino Cuy urged members of the Liga ng mga Barangay ng Pilipinas (LBP) to hold elections on or before Nov. 30.
The order was issued despite the national government's plans to postpone the Oct. 23 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
But an official of the LBP in Cebu Province said they won’t hold an election without the go-ahead of their National Executive Board (NEB).
Last Sept. 6, the acting interior secretary ordered barangay officials to hold elections for representatives of the LBP in all municipal, city and provincial councils as there is no provision in the law that their two-year terms should be extended.
In the city and municipal level, the ex-officio is the duly elected representative of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC).
In the provincial level, the ex-officio members are the duly elected representatives of the LBP and the Philippine Councilors’ League.
Burdeos said the term of incumbent ex-officio officers was supposed to end on June 30, 2016, following the assumption of new Sanggunian members after the May 2016 national and local elections.
“They’re supposed to be coterminous with the Sanggunian. So if the Sanggunian’s term ends, so too that of the ex-officio,” Burdeos said.
Even though the term of incumbent village chiefs were extended after the postponement of the barangay and SK elections last year, the postponement didn’t include ex-officio officers, Burdeos said.
In a separate interview, PB Member Celestino “Tining” Martinez III said the DILG’s order is considered “premature” since the Senate has yet to decide if it will support calls to postpone next month's elections.
Martinez, who is the president of the LBP’s Cebu chapter, said the NEB also issued a resolution to not hold elections for chapter officers until it decides to do so pursuant with its constitution and by-laws.
Martinez said that the NEB, not the DILG, has the power and authority to call an election of LBP officers.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 20, 2017.
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