By Charissa Luci
The bill seeking to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections until May, 2018 is in limbo as both houses of Congress have yet to pass the measure and reconcile their version.
Citizens Battle against Corruption (CIBAC) partylist Rep. Sherwin Tugna, chairman of the House committee on suffrage and electoral affairs, cited the need for the leadership of the House and Senate to meet to reconcile their version of the measure.
“There is no issue between the two chambers whether to postpone or to proceed. The only issue is what date will that be,” he told reporters.
The House version, which is set for plenary discussion, wants the elections reset to May, 2018, while the Senate wants the polls rescheduled to October, 2018.
Tugna casts no doubt that the Lower Chamber would be able to pass the postponement measure.
“I think the leadership (of Congress) will tackle it. We only have control of the Lower House. I cannot speak for the Senate, so this time, if we based it last year, the Lower House postponed it, and today, it’s already August 29, so I think, the congressional leaders need to meet to consolidate the date,” Tugna said.
Voting 19-2, the Tugna panel approved on August 14 the resetting of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to the second Monday of May, 2018.
Seven days before the panel voting, the lawmakers during an all-party caucus decided to move the October 2017 barangay and SK polls to May, 2018.
President Duterte sought the postponement of elections so the elections and barangay politics would not interfere with the ongoing fight to eradicate illegal drugs at the barangay level.
“Postponing the elections would prevent the election of local personalities linked to drug operations. More importantly, it would also give ample time for incumbent barangay officials to address and curb the drug problem of our country,” Tugna said.
“By moving the local elections to May 2018, we are able to balance the our nation’s fight against illegal drugs and the people’s right to exercise their right to participate in the selection of their local leaders,” he added
Tags: barangay, House and Senate, Houses of Congress, lower house, Manila Bulletin, posponement, Sangguniang Kabataan elections, Senate House leaders to reconcile barangay SK postponement bill versions, Sherwin Tugna, version
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