The House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms on Monday approved a bill to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in December this year.
The panel agreed, by a vote of 12-2, to move the scheduled polls from December 5, 2022 to December 4, 2023, in order to save budget funds that can be turned to other more urgent state programs.
Correspondingly, the committee approved a motion establishing the tenure of those elected in December 2023, with winners serving for a three-year term beginning January 1, 2024.
However, the opposition was concerned and opposed the postponement, claiming that it would deprive voters of the right to choose their public officials.
Meanwhile, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman George Garcia stated that if the polls are moved to next year, the government will require at least 5 billion pesos in addition to the allocated 8.4 billion peso-budget.
Garcia explained that postponing the elections would incur additional costs for registering more voters, producing more ballots, hiring more manpower, and purchasing materials.
The Comelec chief, on the other hand, stated that whatever decision they reach on the village and youth council elections, they will coordinate with the House of Representatives.
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