WITH barely a month to go before the scheduled polls, President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to sign into law the second postponement of the village and youth council elections, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

In a press conference, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy expressed confidence that Duterte would sign into law the bill that would postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections set on October 23 this year.

"I'm sure the President will sign it because he issued a certification on urgency," he said.

Sitoy made the statement after the House of Representatives adopted the Senate version of a bill, moving the twin elections to October 2018. Earlier, the House proposed to re-schedule the elections to May 2018.

This means that there will be no need for a bicameral conference committee meeting, in order to reconcile differences in their different versions of the measure. The proposed bill will then be forwarded to the Office of the President for Duterte's signature.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella welcomed the Senate and House lawmakers' move to expedite the passage of the bill into law.

"The Palace welcomes the move of the House of Representatives to adopt the Senate’s final version postponing the barangay and SK elections. We expect the President to sign the proposed bill into law," he said.

The decision to postpone October 23 polls was reached following the repeated claim of Duterte that drug syndicates would take advantage, should the twin elections resume.

The President has insisted that "drug people" will win, if he allows the resumption of barangay and SK polls.

In October last year, Duterte signed into law a bill moving the village and youth councils elections from October 31, 2016 to October 23, 2017, citing reason that 40 percent of villages had already been infected by rampant drugs trade. (SunStar Philippines)