MANILA -- After almost three hours of deliberation, the House committee of suffrage and electoral reforms failed to agree whether to postpone the holding of the scheduled barangay elections on October 25 or not.

In a vote of 21 to 3, the committee favored the motion of Deputy Speaker Jesus Crispin Remulla (Cavite, 7th district) to defer its action on the 21 bills and two resolutions filed to reschedule the polls.

“We have to defer our consensus regarding the postponement of the Sangguniang Kabataan and barangay elections because the committee is not yet complete. We have to postpone our decision so that we can look into this matter closely,” he told reporters.

The committee will decide on the issue on Wednesday.

Cagayan de Oro (2nd district) Representative Rufus Rodriguez, Bacolod City Representative Anthony Golez (Lone district), and Palawan Representative (1st district) Antonio Alvarez opposed the motion.

Remulla earlier backed the postponement of the synchronized barangay and SK elections to allow the government to realign the allocated P3.2 billion budget for the delivery of basic social services.

Meantime, committee chair Elpidio Barzaga Jr. (Cavite, 4th district) announced that House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. will hold a House caucus anytime this week to get the sentiments of its 268 members.

Reports said that the majority and minority bloc members of the House have crossed party lines to support the deferment of the polls but IloIlo Representative (1st district) Janette Garin maintained that time constraints could spell doom for the proposed measure.

“We just don’t have the time to deliberate and act on the proposals,” she said.

President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has said the October 25 elections should push through and synchronize the next one with the May 2013 senatorial polls. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)