The House of Representatives approved the bill to postpone the May 2020 barangay SK elections which put it on the third (3rd) and final reading. House Bill 4933, which is a combination of 40 bills; looks to reschedule or postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections from May 2020 to December 2022.
It was a landslide decision; 194-6, the chamber gave an OK to HB 4933, putting it on the final thread of approval.
Originally, the SK election rescheduling bills look to reset the elections not in 2022, but in May of 2023. Due to amendments and further observation, it was changed to December 2022 before the approval of the second (2nd) reading.
It might be quite confusing for you, with all of these dates. To clarify it, this amendment of rescheduling the barangay SK elections coincides with the Senate version of the bill.
Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate Majority Leader, said that this would make the approval of this measure faster. Why? Because there’s no actual need to summon a bicameral conference committee for it. This is because the House version and the Senate version of the bill are actually “exactly the same.”
If you would look at the bill, the move from May 2020 to December 2022, will allow our current village officials to “continue implementing various policies and complete programs that they just started as funds have just been made available, for more sustainable development of the barangays.”
What’s the current schedule of the barangay SK elections?
Today, succeeding SK barangay elections happen during the first Monday of December 2025; and every three years thereafter. Meaning, the term would be of the elected barangay and SK polls will be on January of the following year.
The term of office of the elected barangay and SK polls will begin on the 1st of January, 2023. With this, current barangay SK officials will stay in office until the ones who’ll go after them will be properly and duly qualified and elected.
Postponing of the 2020 barangay SK elections
Our dearest President Rodrigo Duterte, mentioned in his fourth (4th) State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July, to postpone or reschedule the May 2020 barangay SK elections. He asked Congress to take action on it.
He did so because the proposal was actually a part of the initial list of common priority measures of both the Congress and the Malacañang.
When will the measure be ready for signing?
We can expect the measure to be prepared for signing as soon as the House and the Congress ratifies it. Following that, it’s going to be pending on the desk of our dearest President for the official signing.
James Jimenez, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Spokesperson, said that they were not surprised that the bill was approved. In fact, they’ve slowed preparations down, in expecting of this measure.
The Comelec had in fact slowed down preparations…in anticipation of this legislation.”
Jimenez continued to say that with this bill being approved, the poll body will be continuing to focus on the registration of the voters.
Back in 2013 and 2016, the Congress also postponed the elections. This allowed the existing officials back then to stay in office for five (5) years until the next elections, which was held back in 2018.
President Duterte said that two (2) years is insufficient for barangay officials to polish and finish their projects. He said that this might not be a good cycle after all.
Where would the funds be allotted to?
Alan Peter Cayetano, House Speaker, said that the budget or the funds for the “supposed” 2020 barangay polls would be reallocated to things that needed more funding. He said that more items needed focus and funding; that’s why they’re focusing on that.
As per the Speaker, these include the improvement of the K-12 program, funding of the improvement of military and police camps, and the procurement of palay to our local farmers.
Incumbent barangay officials can assume to stay in office when the bill gets OK-ed. Nevertheless, the bill is currently on its third and final reading.
What do you think about this measure? Do you think that two (2) years is not enough for officials to improve barangays? Do you think that this move would help in the development of smaller LGUs in the country?