IT SEEMS Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections will be postponed after all.
Association of Barangay Council-Baguio president Michael Lawana said he is taking his cue after five senators have filed a bill postponing the October 2016 elections to October 2018.
“On Wednesday, we just came from a Senate hearing purposely for the proposed postponement. Five senators already endorsed a bill to postpone the elections because of a lot of reasons,” Lawana told Sun.Star Baguio.
Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Joel Villanueva, Leila De Lima, Allan Peter Cayetano and Juan Edgardo Angara have endorsed a bill postponing the upcoming elections to 2018.
Also present during the senate hearing are Commission on Elections (Comelec), Department of Interior and Local Government, ABC National Executive board, other stake holders and the National Youth Commission.
Lawana stated most stakeholders have agreed the barangay and SK polls have to be postponed due to huge budget needed.
“Ang resounding answer kasi nila ay they are all in favor of postponement because of the expenses and mayroon kasing pending na barangay reformed bill sa Congress. Kailangan muna ma resolve iyon bago ang election,” Lawana said.
Comelec estimated the election expenses to be around P6 to P7 billion while additional budget will also be needed for the mandatory training and seminars of newly elected officials of 42,008 barangays in the country.
He added only National Youth Commission who opposed the postponement of the SK elections because the youth has not been properly represented in the barangays since 2010.
“Na-explain naman sa NYC led by Aiza Seguerra na mayroong taskforce for youth development sa mga barangays and I think napag isip-isip niya din that it should be postponed. Also there are gray areas on the SK reformed bill which needs to be addressed first,” Lawana narrated.
Lawana continued COMELEC commissioner Andres Bautista expressed they are open for the postponement but appealed for the announcement to be on or before September 1.
The COMELEC have earlier started printing election ballots since August 22, as Lawana added Bautista assured the ballots can still be used for the other barangay and SK elections as no dates and names were printed on the ballots.
“Here in the city, we are worried projects may not be continued if the election will be conducted on October due to election ban, may election fatigue pa at iyong campaign against drug ni President Duterte ay maaring ma-interrupt in the coming days kasi ang aasikasuhin na lang ng ma officials natin ay ang kampanya. Magiging politically motivated na ang kanilang services,” Lawana ended.