• Congress has 2 weeks to pass law postponing village polls

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    Congress has two weeks to pass a measure postponing the village elections in set in October, an official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday.

    James Jimenez, spokesman of the Comelec, said thwe two week is the “deadliest deadline.”

    “Without the law postponing the barangay elections, we will start printing the ballots. We will spend P1 billion for that,” he said at a forum in Manila.

    He added that the poll body will spend about P5 billion to P6 billion for the entire electoral exercise, including the packaging, shipping, preparation of voting precincts, hiring of personnel and payment for the services of school teachers.

    Jimenez said some 77 million ballots will be printed.

    Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, the principal author of House Bill 5359 that seeks to postpone the synchronized Sangguniang Kabataan and barangay elections to May 2020, said 50 congressmen backed the measure.

    “About 50 congressmen have already signified their support for the passage of the proposed bill postponing the barangay and SK polls,” he said during the same forum.

    However, several congressmen are hesitant to support the bill because they are against the appointment of temporary village chiefs.

    “They are amenable to the postponement, but they are giving second thoughts on the appointment of barangay captains,” he said.

    The barangay polls were supposed to be held last year but a law was passed moving it to Oct. 23.

    Jimenez said billions of pesos will be wasted if Congress will fail to pass the needed legislation on time. Jaime R. Pilapil

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