THE Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill postponing the barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) elections on May 2020 and resetting these on Dec. 5, 2022.
The amended Senate Bill 1043 is a consolidation of five bills. If enacted into law, there will be two elections in 2022 — the national elections in May, and the barangay and SK elections in December.
The bill also proposes holding the barangay and SK elections every three years.
The Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation headed by Sen. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos, earlier recommended holding the synchronized elections on the second Monday of May 2023.
But during the period of interpellation, senators decided to hold it in 2022 or six months after the May 2022 national elections.
During the period of amendments, Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto noted that it would be more convenient for the Commission on Elections to hold the barangay and SK elections a year before or a year after the national polls.
Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said the December 2022 date was a compromise.
“Initially some of the bills that have been filed indicate October of 2022 and it was too close to May of 2022. Then there was another proposal that it be conducted in May 2023, many of us felt it would have been too long of a term, close to seven years,” he said.
Last week, the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms approved the bill postponing the Barangay and SK polls from next year to May 2023.
Both versions of the bill will be tackled in the bicameral conference for consolidation.
The Duterte administration had postponed the barangay and SK polls twice, in 2016 and 2018.