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9月19日のまにら新聞から

Imee says barangay officials term should be changed to six years

[ 557 words|2022.9.19|英字 (English) ]

Senator Imee Marcos, chairperson of the Senate electoral reform and people's participation committee, said Sunday the term of barangay officials should be changed to six years.

In an interview with dzBB, Marcos said three years ''is too short'' .

“I think three years is too short. That’s the reality. Because every year, since 1998, there has been an election postponed. On the average, the real length of term they serve is not three years but close to four and a half, or five years,” Marcos said.

“So I think it would be better if we changed the term length once and for all so that we won’t have to waste money somehow,” she added.

Marcos said: “The problem with that is, every time the elections are postponed, we lose money. Then I was shocked by their (Commission on Election) estimate. I said if they are going to postpone it, it’s up to the Executive to talk to the Comelec. The budget they’re asking for is too high. P18 billion is too high.”

The barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections should be held in May next year, according to Marcos.

“I’m thinking it should be held in May, one year after the presidential elections because if it’s held in December, it’s going to be a hassle. It’s the storm and holiday season. The students and workers aren’t going home. So I think it’s better for them to hold it during summer,” she said.

Marcos said the postponement of the elections would be a good opportunity to revisit the SK system.

“I’m thinking it should be changed at the federation level during the midterm. So that it won’t be a wholesale election, it would only be within the SK leadership only…I think at the barangay or municipal level, it would be better if the SK had only one representative in the barangay council,” she said.

Marcos said she expects the Senate would be able to approve Senate Bill 1306 before Congress goes on recess from October 1 to November 6.

She said President Ferdinand Marcos,Jr. told her the barangay and SK elections should be postponed, but she was unsure what exact date he wanted and if the measure was considered urgent.

“To tell you honestly, the other problem is…the bill isn’t certified as urgent. So I don’t know if the matter is urgent or not,” Marcos said over dzBB.

Marcos said if she had it her way, she would have opted to continue the barangay and SK elections this year.

“I am the one who sponsored the bill that postpones the elections because that is the consensus. That is what was voted upon. But I would rather not keep postponing because it’s confusing. And you keep on spending while delaying,” Marcos said.

“For me, I wanted to go ahead with it. But they said our barangays are still exhausted from the previous elections, that’s why they said it should be postponed. I said it was okay but we should change the system once and for all so that we won’t be cramming during barangay elections,” she added.

SB 1306, which was introduced by Marcos, was approved on first reading on Tuesday.

House Bill 4673, the lower chamber’s counterpart bill, was passed on second reading on Wednesday and is expected to be approved on final reading by next week. Jaspearl Tan/DMS