Imee Marcos wants gov't to postpone barangay, SK elections to 2023
MANILA, Philippines – Neophyte Senator Imee Marcos said she wants the government to postpone the 2020 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to January or February 2023.
The Senate committee on electoral reforms, which Marcos chairs, discussed on Wednesday, August 7, Senate Bill (SB) Nos. 201 and 222 which proposed postponing the said elections.
SB 201, which was filed by Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, seeks to postpone the elections to October 2022. Marcos' SB 222, meanwhile, seeks to postpone the elections to May 2023. Both bills would give the village officials 4 to 5 years in office, instead of just two.
In an interview with reporters after the committee hearing, Marcos said that she is open to meeting Go halfway, citing her experience in local government when the said elections were held October 2010 – months after the national elections.
"Manual kasi ang barangay at SK elections kaya medyo bloody siya sa trabaho. 'Yun nga ang sabi ko, May 2023, pero kung masyadong mahaba, 'yun siguro magtawaran na lang kami ni Senator Bong Go sa October 2022. Somewhere in the middle, baka January or February 2023," Marcos said.
(It's bloody in terms of labor because it's done manually. That's why I said May 2023. But if it's too long, maybe I can meet Senator Bong Go halfway with October 2022. Somewhere in the middle, maybe in January or in February 2023.)
During the hearing, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon proposed that the barangay and SK elections be done in May 2021 instead, to give village officials at least 3 years of governance.
But Marcos said they would rather have it after the national elections, to give way to the recodification of some laws, including the Omnibus Election Code of 1985 which did not include automated elections in its provisions.
The Commission on Elections have "slowed down" its preparations for the May 2020 barangay and SK elections following the President's call for Congress to postpone the polls.
At the House of Representatives, at least 4 lawmakers have filed separate measures seeking to postpone the elections to as early as May 2022 and as late as May 2023.
Prior to this, barangay and SK elections were already postponed twice under the Duterte administration. (READ: TIMELINE: Efforts to postpone barangay, SK elections)
Elections were first postponed from October 2016 to October 2017, then pushed back once more to May 2018 after Duterte signed Republic Act No. 10952. – Rappler.com