Escudero: Move barangay, SK elections to 2024
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – In order to give the national government enough time to prepare for the next barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero said there is a need to postpone its schedule from December 2022 to 2024.
Escudero said, in an advisory, that there was also a need to already desynchronize the barangay and SK elections with the local and national elections.
“Papaburan ko ang postponement ng barangay elections—hindi simpleng postponement lang pero dapat i-desynchronize na sa taon kung saan may local elections. Ang aking layunin ay hindi lamang anim na buwan ang pagpapalitan kung hindi sa taong 2024 para hindi sumabay sa halalan ng 2025,” he said.
And if he wins a seat in Senate in the May 9, 2022 elections, Escudero said, he would prioritize the amendment of existing laws to allow the new sets of barangay and SK officials to hold office for more than three years.
“Sana sa susunod, kung ipo-postpone din lang natin ang halalan, habaan na lang natin ang termino, imbes na kada tatlong taon pino-postpone natin,” Escudero said.
“Parang kontrata kasi ang eleksyon. Dapat klaro sa tao ang pinapasukan nila na kontrata dun sa opisyal na iboboto nila, kung gaano katagal nga ba sila maninilbihan,” he added.
Republic Act No. 9340 mandates that the barangay and SK elections should be held every three years.
But in reality, the the conduct of the barangay and SK elections are often delayed. Incumbent officials end up holding office longer than they should.
Since 2016, the barangay and SK elections have been postponed thrice. The next election that is schedule on December 5, 2022 should have been held last May 2020 yet.
Escudero said that by holding the barangay and SK elections in 2024 or on a year that is separate from the regular elections, the national government will have more than enough time to prepare especially its funding requirement.
“’Yung mga susunod na eleksyon para sa barangay at SK, huwag na nating itaon sa panahon na may national elections din para mapagtuunan ng tamang pansin ang mga barangay dahil sa totoo lang, sila ang pinakamalapit na mukha ng gobyerno sa mga tao,” Escudero said.
“Ang nagiging problema, natatakot ang mga politiko, natatakot ang gobyerno sa gastos na naman sa isang halalan. Para sa akin, mas marapat palakasin at patatagin ang demokrasya ng ating bansa kaysa convenience lamang ng mga politiko at ng mga lider ng pamahalaan,” he said.
As of the September 2020 data from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), there are a total of 42,046 barangays in the country.
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