PLEADING poll fatigue, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday proposed the postponement of the village election scheduled in October this year.
“Not that we don’t want it, but it would be better if it is postponed,” Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista said.
The poll chief added that they will bring up the matter with the respective chairmen of the Senate and House electoral committees when Congress convenes on the last week of July.
“Aside from election, it is expensive,” Bautista said, adding that the nationwide village election costs billions of pesos.
He pointed out that one of the priorities of the Duterte administration is to amend the Constitution to fit his legislative agenda, which include, among others, the shift to a federal form of government.
Bautista said amending the Constitution will involve the holding of a plebiscite and thereafter, if the method of amendment is through Constitutional Convention (Concon), it would require the holding of an election for Concon delegates.
“We don’t want a lot of elections. The Senate and the House and the Executive Department should convene to discuss what to do,” he added.
Postponing the village election will extend the term of incumbent barangay officials, a thing that has been done several times in the past, Bautista said.
He added that the commission will also propose to the incoming Congress some amendments to the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).
He explained that the OEC has become irrelevant because it was crafted several decades ago when manual election was still the norm.
“It was crafted in 1985 when there was still no social media, no shopping malls… We should amend the Omnibus Election Code for a credible election and help our voters make their voting experience comfortable,” the poll chief said.
Bautista that the Comelec also wanted to amend the campaign finance rules.