Mayor supports move to delay barangay polls

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Thursday, February 16, 2012


DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said Thursday she will support plans to postpone the barangay elections set next year to give barangay officials ample time to complete their projects.

She said one of the benefits of such move is for barangay leaders to pursue projects that they have started.

Duterte-Carpio issued the same statement after Cebu City Representative Rachel del Mar has filed the House Bill 5750 in a bid to postpone the barangay elections from 2013 to 2014.

In filing the bill, del Mar said delaying the barangay elections will prevent the government from spending a lot of money in 2013.

Jose B. Ong, chief of the Davao City Barangay Cultural and Community Affairs (BCCAD), in Thursday's I-Speak forum held at the City Hall also echoed the same statement.

For Ong, the three-year term for each barangay captain is too short to fully implement all their pending projects.

"Pero ang dili pud maayo ana kay sa katong mga naay plano mo-dagan as kapitan sa 2013 (But the problem in that proposal is for those who have plans in running for barangay position in 2013)," Ong said.

Ong said some 60 percent of the total projects in barangay level have been implemented.

Angelico Santander, Los Amigos village chief in a text message, said he is also in favor of postponing the barangay elections next year.

Reports have it that two lawmakers from Mindanao also filed a bill resetting the barangay elections from October 2013 to October 2015, also to reduce electoral expense since the country will also hold the mid-term elections in the same year.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez said the postponement of the poll will also help unite the country, saying an electoral exercise, whether national, local or barangay, proved to be conflict-ridden.

"During these trying times for our country, division is the last thing that we need," he said.

In seeking the postponement of the poll under House Bill 5654, Rodriguez noted that elections in the Philippines are always a costly exercise, both for the candidates and the government.

For the 2013 elections, excluding the barangay and Youth Council elections, the Comelec is projecting a budget of P15 billion to P20 billion.

"It could be a safe bet to state that the upcoming 2013 barangay elections could top the 2010 spent for the barangay polls, which amount could be better spent for other government projects like construction of bridges, roads and other infrastructure projects, and even school buildings," Rodriguez said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 17, 2012.

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