MANILA – Senator Imee Marcos is leaning more on postponing the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) to May next year, rather than December.
Marcos said the month of May is when students go back to their hometowns, which gives them an opportunity to vote, whereas December will coincide with the busy Christmas season, she said in a radio interview on Sunday.
Marcos recently delivered a privilege speech to sponsor Senate Bill No. 1306, which seeks to postpone the BSKE from December 5 this year to December 2023.
Much as another postponement will entail added cost, it will allow fixing flaws in the system.
"Well ako ang nag-sponsor ng pagpapaliban dahil ‘yun ang (I sponsored the postponement because that was the) consensus. Alam naman ninyo, boto-boto naman yan. Pero ‘yung ayoko kasing paliban ng paliban, nakakalito at saka gastos ka ng gastos habang naghihintay (You know, it still needs to be voted on. But I do not really want to delay it more because it is confusing and you have to spend more while waiting)," she said.
During her privilege speech, she proposed to extend the term of village and SK officials to six years and fix their elections every May the year following the presidential elections.
She also suggested looking into the current Sangguniang Kabataan system, citing the feasibility of abolishing it at the village level and maintaining it at the city or municipal level only.
The House of Representatives have passed on second reading the BSKE postponement to Dec. 4, 2023 and is eyeing to approve the measure by October.
Under the House proposal, the subsequent synchronized BSKE is also set on the first Monday of 2026 and every three years thereafter.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to start the one-month printing period of the BSKE ballots on Tuesday.
Comelec chairperson George Garcia said in a press briefing on Thursday that preparations for the polls will continue in the absence of a law postponing it.
Once a law postponing the polls is enacted and the ballots are already printed, Garcia said they will be used in the next scheduled BSKE.
The BSKE was supposed to held May 2020 but was reset to December 5 this year to concentrate with preparations for the national elections last May. (PNA)