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House passes measure postponing village polls


The House of Representatives has approved on third reading a bill postponing the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or Youth Council) and barangay (village) elections.

With 194 affirmative and six negative votes, lawmakers on Monday approved House Bill 4933 postponing the synchronized SK and village elections scheduled on the second Monday of May 2020 to Dec. 5, 2022.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez introduced amendments to the youth and village polls measure patterned after the Senate version.

The measure provides that subsequent synchronized youth and village polls would be held every year starting on the first Monday of December 2025, following a national and local election.

The proposed postponement in effect gives additional three years for the incumbent SK and village officials to implement their plans and projects properly.

The amended House measure also provides that the amount necessary for its implementation will be taken from the Commission on Elections under the General Appropriations Bill and/or supplementary appropriations thereafter.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano earlier said the P5.7 billion intended for the 2020 SK and barangay elections should instead be used to augment the budget of various government agencies.

Members of the Makabayan bloc opposed the passage of the bill, reiterating the need of citizens to vote as a democratic exercise.

Senate approved its version of the measure on third and final reading last month.

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Today’s Front Page February 24, 2020

Today’s Front Page February 24, 2020