Namfrel: Proceed with Barangay, SK polls

>> Saturday, July 30, 2022


The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) on Wednesday, urged Congress to proceed with Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections scheduled on Dec. 5.
    In a statement, the election watchdog said despite the constitution allowing Congress to determine the term of barangay officials, it does not mean that it could postpone the polls for the nth time.
    “The Constitution allows the legislature to determine the term of elective barangay officials through legislation:     “The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law,” Namfrel said.
    “However, this does not mean that Congress should again postpone the BSKE. Notably, the law rescheduling the BSKE to December 5 only amends but does not repeal the requirement under RA (Republic Act) 9164 that synchronized BSKE be held in October every three years,” it added.
    A renewed mandate for the barangay chairman/captain and the members of the Sangguniang Barangay would strengthen efforts to recover from the pandemic and address the country’s economic woes, according to Namfrel.     It would also strengthen institutional memories of barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials.
    “The barangay serves as the primary planning and implementing unit of government policies, plans, programs, projects, and activities in the community, as a forum wherein the collective views of the people may be expressed, crystallized and considered, and where disputes may be amicably settled,” it said.
    “As the level of government closest to the people, each voter should be given regularly and without interruption the right to choose the leaders they see and interact with on a daily basis,” it added.
    Namfrel also said the term of elective barangay officials shall only be for three years, according to RA 9164.         They said the term of the incumbent barangay and SK officials elected in 2018 have exceeded three years.
    “As to the matter of savings, the voice of the people is priceless. It can never be reduced to monetary terms. In addition, spending has already begun for the BSKE, particularly for procurement of supplies, forms, and paraphernalia, which Namfrel has been monitoring,” Namfrel said.


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