• Lawmakers back polls postponement

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    SUPPORT for the proposal to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections continues to grow with several members of the House of Representatives also batting for the holding of the electoral exercise next year.

    Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said it will be more practical to shelve the elections.

    “If a law is needed, we can do it,” he said, adding that there is enough time to finalize a decision.
    Several lawmakers filed resolutions calling for the postponement of the village and SK poll.

    Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte filed House Resolution No. 1241 proposing the postponement of the electoral exercise to February 2017, the proposed date for the election of delegates to the proposed Constitutional Convention.

    Pasay City Rep. Emi Calixto Rubiano meanwhile filed a bill extending the term of incumbent barangay officials by two years.

    Senators are also for the shelving of the village elections.

    “Originally, I thought the support was only among lawmakers, from both the Senate and House. But it seems even the Executive department are also keen on this,” Sen. Edgardo Angara said.

    He said he will urge members of the House of Representatives to come up with a decision by September 1.
    But the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said any postponement should only be until next year to avoid conflict with the 2019 polls.

    Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista said the village elections should not coincide with preparations for the 2019 mid-term elections.

    He asked Congress to come up with a decision on the matter soon. The poll body has started printing official ballots for the local elections.

    “Right now, the law says we must have an election on October 31. As long as there is no law that postpones it, we don’t have a choice but to implement the law.” Bautista said.

    Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has filed Senate Bill 1037 seeking to move the upcoming village and youth elections from October 31, 2016 to the last Monday of October 2018.

    The bill also wants to extend the term of barangay and SK officials from three years to five years.

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