MANILA—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is hoping that Congress will soon decide on the proposal to postpone the Barangay elections set this October.
With this, Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista noted that they expect the decision by those who are pushing to reschedule anew the village elections by middle of the year.
“We are neutral in respect to the policy decision being made by the political leadership, which means Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the President. And whatever they decide, we will implement. That’s our mandate under the law. But, hopefully, sooner rather than later,” he said.
The poll body chief added, “If you ask me, hopefully by July (they’ll have a decision already).”
If otherwise, Bautista is still optimistic that by that time, they will know the fate of the measure.
“We hope there will already be, at least, a definite direction of the bill,” he said.
The poll body chief explained that knowing early the decision Congress will help them save funds.
“We don’t want a decision to postpone come after we have started ballot printing because the ballots will have dates and, therefore, cannot be used anymore. That will be a waste of papers and printing costs,” Bautista added.
The budget for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections is PHP6 billion.
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, earlier filed House Bill 5359 seeking to put on hold the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to May 2020 while allowing President Rodrigo Duterte to appoint officials.
The measure was filed in the midst of the Chief Executive’s call for the village polls to again be postponed and its officials will just be appointed.