Calendar of activities for October 2017 barangay, SK elections
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has released a calendar of activities for the October 23, 2017 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, despite a proposal in the House of Representatives to postpone them again.
In Comelec Resolution 10177, promulgated on Tuesday, March 28, the poll body set the election period from September 23 to October 30, 2017.
The filing of certificates of candidacy will be from September 23 to September 30. The campaign period for candidates will be from October 13 to 21.
On election day, Monday, October 23, voting hours are from 7 am to 3 pm. Counting and canvassing of votes will immediately follow.
After the polls, candidates have until November 22 to submit statements of contributions and expenses (SOCE).
Voters' registration for the upcoming polls is ongoing until April 29.
The barangay and SK polls were originally scheduled for October 31, 2016, but Republic Act 10923, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, postponed it to October 23, 2017.
A measure in the House of Representatives seeks to postpone the village and youth council polls for a second time. Surigao del Norte 2nd District Representative Joseph Ace Barbers filed House Bill Number 5359 for this purpose on March 22.
If the latest postponement measure becomes law, the barangay and SK elections would be reset to the 4th Monday of May 2020. In the interim, President Duterte would then be given the power to appoint "officers in charge." (READ: Why Duterte's plan to appoint barangay officials violates the Constitution)
Barangays are the smallest administrative unit in the Philippines, provide frontline government services to Filipinos, especially those in far-flung areas.
Meanwhile, the Sangguniang Kabataan serves as a venue for the Filipino youth to participate in local governance and nation-building. The SK underwent reforms in January 2016 through RA 10742.
Comelec Resolution 10177 prohibits these acts during the election period:
- Carrying of firearms or other deadly weapons, also known as the gun ban
- Using security personnel or bodyguards by candidates
- Organizing or maintaining reaction forces, strike forces, or similar forces
- Altering a territory of a precinct, or establishment of a new precinct
- Transferring or detailing officers and employees in the civil service, including public school teachers
- Suspending any elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay officer
- Coercing or threatening any election official or employee in the performance of his or her election duties (This applies until the proclamation of winning candidates, said the Comelec.)
From September 23 until the proclamation of winning candidates, it is prohibited to wager or bet on the results of the elections.
These are additional bans during the campaign period:
- Removing, destroying, or preventing distribution of lawful election propaganda
- Making any donation or gift in cash or in kind
- Using armored land, water, or air craft
- Appointing or using special policemen, special/confidential agents or the like
- Having policemen or provincial guards act as bodyguards or security guards for public officials or candidates
The last 4 items are also banned on the eve of the election and on election day.
From October 13 to 22, there will be a ban on the appointment or hiring of employees in government, along with the prohibition to construct or maintain barangay-funded roads and bridges.
A liquor ban will be enforced from October 22 to 23, along with the prohibition to campaign and to give or accept free food, drinks, and things of value.
On election day itself, these acts are also prohibited:
- Voting more than once or in substitution of another
- Using the voter's affidavit of another for the purpose of voting (whether the act succeds or not)
- Soliciting votes or undertaking any propaganda for or against any candidate within the polling place or within 30 meters
- Destroying, substituting or taking away – from those having legal custody or from the place it is legally deposited – any election form, document, or ballot box
- Opening of booths or stalls for the sale of wares, merchandise or refreshments within 30 meters from the polling place
- Holding of fairs, cockfights, boxing, horse races, or similar sports
Fund-raising through activities like dances, lotteries, and cockfights is prohibited from September 23 to October 23.
Meanwhile, the unsanctioned release of prisoners is not allowed from August 24 to November 22. – Rappler.com