THE Senate approved on second reading Wednesday, September 21, 2022, the measure that seeks to reschedule the 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) to next year.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III and Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros opposed the passage of Senate Bill 1306.

Hontiveros suggested for the BSKE to be moved to May 2023 instead of December 2023.

Committee on Electoral reforms and People’s Participation chairperson Senator Imee Marcos, who sponsored the bill to the floor last week, rejected Hontiveros’ proposal.

But Marcos said she will raise her suggestion at the bicameral conference committee level.

The Senate Bill 1306 seeks to postpone the BSKE on the second Monday of December 2023.

Under the measure, the following BSKE shall be held on the second Monday of May 2026 and every three years thereafter.

Winning candidates during the December 2023 BSKE shall assume post at 12 noon of January 1, 2024, while elected officials in May 2025 elections will sit at noon of June 30 of the said year.

“Until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified, all incumbent barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials shall remain in office, unless sooner removed or suspended for cause,” stated the bill.

In a privilege speech, Marcos cited several reasons for filing again such a bill, such as the “plaguing” issues both in the barangay and SK systems, short term of office for the BSK officials and the expenses incurred during BSKE.

Marcos sponsored the first Act passed by the 18th Congress postponing the barangay and SK elections from the second Monday of May 2020 to December 5, 2022.

She admitted failing to fulfill her promise then that it would be the last of the repeated postponements of the barangay elections.

“A quick review reveals that every barangay election since 1989 has been postponed resulting in an actual extension of term averaging four to five years. Hence, I propose that the term of the barangay and SK officials should be extended to six years, permanently fixing their elections every May the year following the presidential elections,” said Marcos.

“Thus, this proposed election postponement is a means to buy us time for a series of measures that the Committee on Electoral Reforms and People's Participation is proposing to Congress. This is merely a preliminary measure to give us time to study and debate the deeper issues confronting the barangay and SK system under our present law,” she added.

In August 16, 2022, Marcos filed Senate Bill 1195, positing such an extension of term and fixing the dates for BSKE.

The House of Representatives earlier passed on third and final reading a counterpart bill seeking also the postponement of BSKE. (SunStar Philippines)