House OKs postponement of barangay, SK elections to October 2018
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The House of Representatives voted on Monday, March 19, to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections for the 3rd time under the Duterte administration.
Voting 164-27 the House approved an earlier panel consensus to postpone the elections, scheduled in May 2018, to October 2018. (The House originally counted a 211-29 vote, then had it corrected.)
Why this matters: The elections were set in 2016, but this was moved to 2017. It was then moved another time to May 2018, with allies of President Rodrigo Duterte citing the alleged danger of drug money infiltrating the local elections as a solid reason.
This time, proponents of the 3rd postponement are arguing that a postponement would help in the shift to a federal system of government, since an envisioned plebiscite can be conducted simultaneously with the village and youth polls.
During a House committee on suffrage hearing on the proposal, tensions flared as opposition lawmakers criticized their colleagues, part of a PDP-Laban led "supermajority," for pushing for a postponement anew.
Senate is not cool with it: While the House pressed on with a proposed 3rd postponement, the Senate has been lukewarm. "Postponement of barangay elections has no chance anymore in the Senate," said Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III in a message to media.
There is no standing proposal to postpone the barangay elections in the Senate.
Senators are also of the opinion that is it "physically impossible" to postpone the elections anew since Congress is set to take a break by March 21. Session will resume in mid-May 2018. – Rappler.com