TACLOBAN CITY– The cancellation of the this year’s barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will allow officials to fulfill their electoral promises to their constituents which had to be put on hold due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Thus said Southern Leyte Rep. Christopherson “Coco” Yap, following the signing of the Republic Act (RA) 11935 by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr which scheduled the supposed December 2022 barangay and SK elections to October, 2023.
“This will spare the national government from the expenses of conducting an election, training new officials in their functions and in the proper distribution of ayudas and implementation of new protocols,” he said.
Yap, along with fellow lawmakers, passed House Bill 02235 in the House of Representatives which was eventually consolidated to HB04673, the third reading version of the House, “to afford continuity in governmental operations in the grass-roots level as the national government tries to recover from the pandemic.”
“Although our original proposal to move it to October 2024 was not carried, we are still happy that the final version approved by the President postponed the elections to October 2023,” Yap said.
“This is the second bill I principally authored which became law,” he added.
As this developed, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman George Erwin Garcia said they are anticipating and reactivating 5 million more regular and youth voters by the end of the 6-month registration program.
“One of the major changes that is expected to be implemented is the resumption of the voter’s registration, which would be scheduled on the last week of November this year to the last week of May 2023,” the commission said in a statement.
Garcia also urged barangay and SK officials for support and assistance in the voter education and registration activities that they are going to implement.
(RONALD O. REYES)