OFFICIALS of Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City prefer that the Banawa-Englis plebiscite pushes through on its original date.

But since it is up to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), said Barangay Councilor Dino Faelnar, they will just have to use the extra two weeks to continue campaigning against the separation of Banawa and Englis as a new barangay.

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Antonio Dangcalan, United Banawa Englis Association Inc. (UBEAI) president, said they, too, are prepared for the Feb. 28 schedule.

The change, he said, has created a problem since they now have to go around and inform residents of the new date, which is March 13.

“Problema na pud ang pagpahibawo sa mga tawo nga nausab ang petsa. We’re ready na man pud gyud (We now have a problem of informing the people about the change). But we have to follow the wish of the Comelec,” Dangcalan said.

He said they are optimistic that majority of Guadalupe’s residents will grant them their wish to have their own barangay by voting “yes” during the plebiscite.

“Optimistic mi nga modaug mi. We hope wala lay binuang (during the referendum). Ang problem na pud ani ang watchers, ang financial aspect sa plebisito,” he said.

Faelnar, though, said they are confident that their constituents will vote to keep their barangay intact.

“Maayo man hinoon nga dili dali-dali-on, mag-agad lang ta sa Comelec. Pero mas maayo unta nga kadtong gi-set gyud nga petsa, kay ang pagpasabot na man lang pud namo sa mga tawo (It’s good not to rush the holding of the plebiscite; it depends on Comelec),” he told Sun.Star Cebu, in a separate interview.

“Magpulong-pulong mi para sa eleksyon karong Mayo, unya mangampanya pa gyud sa Banawa-Englis (We have to meet our constituents for the May elections, and campaign for Banawa Englis),” he said.

Faelnar is a member of the administration group Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan.

The start of the campaign period for local candidates is on March 9, or four days prior to the new plebiscite date of March 13.

Saying it needs more time because it has its hands full preparing for the May 10, 2010 elections, the Comelec reset the plebiscite by two weeks.

Rep. Antonio Cuenco (Cebu City, south district) said he spoke with Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Bartolome Sinocruz Jr. last Friday afternoon and was told of the decision.

Cuenco authored the bill that seeks to create barangay Banawa-Englis.

Last Jan. 8, President Gloria Arroyo signed into law Republic Act 9905, or “An Act Creating a Barangay to be known as Barangay Banawa-Englis in the City of Cebu.”

And since the Comelec said it did not have funds for the plebiscite, Cuenco managed to have Malacañang, though a request addressed to the president last month, lend it P1.458 million.

Cuenco said Sinocruz will get the check today from the Department of Budget and Management.

The congressman, who is on his last term as south district representative, however, said he had to yield to the request to change the date for the plebiscite because the Comelec is busy with election preparations. (RHM)