Thursday, August 25, 2016

Malacanang, solon: Postphone Barangay poll in 2017
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA – There is a broad consensus among the Executive Department, Congress and 
Commission on Elections to postpone to 2017 the barangay elections scheduled this October, 
Senator Juan Edgardo Angara said Wednesday.Image result for barangay election

In a press conference after hearing the proposed measure, Angara said Comelec only needs

 a clear indication from Congress as legal cover to postpone the election.

“I think, very likely [that it will be] postponed, given that there’s overwhelming support. I

 originally thought that support for such postponement  only came from Congress," Angara said.

In fact, he said, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mike Sueno, the alter ego of the 

President, had expressed support for the postponement.

Sabi nga nila ay alter-ego ng presidente, ay nagsalita na in favor sila sa postponement dahil 

ayaw naman nilang nakatiwangwang lang ang ma proyekto kasi magkaka-election ban
 na naman. Parang sabi nila, sayang yung panahon,” Angara said.

For his part as chairman of the Senate committee on local government, Angara said he will

 write the panel's report immediately, and report it out to the plenary before the August 31
 deadline set by Comelec for the postponement.

“So on the part of the committee, we will do the committee report and we will consult with others informally at makikita natin kung talagang papunta na run yung direksyon natin [and we will see if the consensus is really in that direction],” Angara said.

According to Angara, there was a House version on the proposal authored by Speaker Pa

ntaleon Alvarez, and this, he said, is considered as a "marching order" to the panel.

While the law is being deliberated in the plenary after the submission of a report, he will initiate a joint resolution of both chambers to postpone the election.

“We’ll talk to the leadership later about this or we can pass a resolution. That’s another option we are looking at now,” Angara said.

Senator Win cites 3 reasons to postpone

Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian cited three major reasons for postponing the
 barangay elections.

He also expressed belief that holding the Barangay and SK elections this year will cause delays

 and slow down crucial economic projects of the national government; for one thing, there 
will be temporary bans and restrictions in several government processes throughout the entire 
election period.

“Kung itutuloy po natin ang eleksyon ng Barangay at Sangguniang Kabataan ngayong ika-31 ng Oktubre, mahigit dalawang buwan na lang mula ngayon, tiyak na magiging dahilan po ito ng pagkaantala sa pangako ng gobyerno na bilisan ang pagbibigay ng serbisyo at programa para sa ating mga kababayan,” Gatchalian said.

He said moving the date of the Barangay and SK elections will have more positive than negative effects:

FIRST, since voter turnout in barangay polls is historically low, the postponement will give an opportunity for the Comelec to improve voter turnout in the SK and barangay elections, which is way below Comelec’s target of 5 million new voters.

SECOND, the upcoming polls, being manual, is costly.

In fact, Comelec recommends synchronizing the holding of the Barangay and SK polls with the proposed Constitutional Convention as “this will save the government as much as 5 to 6-billion pesos”.

THIRD, and most important, the deferment of the polls would give way to the continuing fight against crime and corruption of President Duterte. With the general perception that crimes surge during election season in the Philippines, the barangay and SK polls might be used by some to distract the momentum against drugs and criminality, especially that the PNP and PDEA claim that 11,321 or 27% of all barangays in the Philippines are drug-affected.

However, he urges a review of the revised Omnibus Election Code to find ways to make electoral systems better attuned to present conditions.

For his part, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri also supports postponement to allow local government units to continue their Oplan Tokhang against illegal drugs.

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