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House, Senate split on barangay election reset

DUMAGUETE CITY – As far as the Senate is concerned, it’s too late in the day to pass another law that will postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan and Barangay election slated on May 14 considering that Congress will go on a recess in less than two weeks.

The upper chamber’s reaction came after the House Committee on Suffrage and electoral reforms voted to postpone the barangay and SK elections to October 8 even if no counterpart bill was filed in the Senate.

Unless certified urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte, the Senate has no appetite to take up the legislation.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has repeatedly declared its desire to hold the elections as scheduled to allow the electorate to remove all incumbent barangay officials linked to the illegal drugs trade.

DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Ano has directed the PNP to do case build up against suspected barangay officials so that the necessary cases can be filed against them without delay.

Each barangay has a set of elected officials to include the barangay captain and 7 kagawads while the local chief executive appoints the treasurer and secretary with the concurrence of the Sangguniang Barangay. Around 420, 360 incumbent officials will be affected should the election pushes through.

The number of barangay officials is also expected to increase with the entry of SK officials composed of one Chairman and 7 kagawads per barangay. That is an additional 336, 288 posts to be filled in the upcoming May 14 barangay and SK elections unless scrapped anew.