The Senate of the Philippines approved on third and final reading on Monday, September 30, Senate Bill No. 1043, which seeks to postpone the 2020 synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to 2022, extending the term of current officials from two years to four years.
SB 1043 is a substitute of five Senate bills, including SB 201, filed by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.
In filing his bill in July, Go reasoned that the postponement is necessary so that the incumbent officials will have enough time to implement their programs.
“Hindi naman po kasalanan ng mga barangay officials ang postponement ng nakaraang eleksyon. Kaya dapat lang na mabigyan natin sila ng sapat na panahon upang makapagpatupad ng kani-kanilang mga programa at proyekto sa kanilang mga nasasakupan,” he said.
Extending the two-year term of current officials is also one of the promises of Go during campaign period. SB 201 is one of the first ten bills that he filed when he assumed office.
“Mga barangays natin ang pinaka-frontline ng ating gobyerno sa paghahatid ng serbisyo at sa kampanya natin laban sa iligal na droga at kriminalidad. Kaya dapat lang na mabigyan natin sila ng oportunidad at sapat na oras upang makapagpatupad ng kani-kanilang mga programa at proyekto,” he further explained.
Aside from moving the elections from the second Monday of May 2020 to December 5, 2022, SB 1043 also sets the subsequent elections on the first Monday of December 2025 and every three years thereafter.
SB 1043 seeks to amend RA 9164, which was amended by five other Republic Acts when previous elections were also postponed.
Senator Imee Marcos sponsored SB 1043, and aside from her and Go, the other authors are Senators Bong Revilla, Nancy Binay, Sherwin Gatchalian, Francis Tolentino, Sonny Angara and Cynthia Villar.
Go explained during the period of interpellation on the said measure that his proposal would give the next elected president and new barangay officials the opportunity to work and accomplish programs together.
“The interval would grant the next elected president and barangay officials the opportunity to work hand in hand and accomplish their projects and programs together,” Go said.
The senator also pointed out that the shorter gap between the national and the barangay elections “would mean a shorter waiting time for them to be able to work collectively and, in effect, align their agenda, direction, objectives, and programs sooner, ultimately for the benefit of the people who placed them in office.”