MANILA—House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez expressed optimism the House of Representatives will be able to pass a measure postponing barangay (village) elections by June.
In a radio interview on Monday, Alvarez said there is enough time for Congress to pass a legislation amending the Local Government Code for the postponement of the barangay elections in October, especially if President Rodrigo Duterte certifies the bill as urgent.
“Kaya po ‘yon… lalo na kapag ci-nertify as urgent ng ating Pangulo, (It’s possible… especially if the bill is certified urgent by our President),” Alvarez said.
Alvarez is also confident the House supermajority will support Duterte’s proposal, noting that no member from the coalition has voiced his/her opposition against it.
Alvarez said the proposal will be patterned after Republic Act 10923, or the law that resets last year’s barangay elections to Oct. 23, 2017, with an added provision of appointing barangay officials.
“Tapos dagdagan na lang kung sino ang mag-aappoint, (We will just add who will be appointing (the barangay officials),” Alvarez said.
Alvarez said he will discuss the matter with Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno and Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to ensure faster deliberation and approval of the proposal.
Earlier, Pres. Duterte warned that if the October barangay elections would push through many village officials with ties to the drug trade would likely get re-elected. Instead, the President said he wants the polls postponed and fill the vacant positions by appointment.