The 2022 barangay elections must finally push through in order to give the people the freedom to choose their next set of local leaders, Partido Reporma standard-bearer Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said on Saturday, March 19.
Lacson made this stand knowing that the electoral process for the smallest political unit of the country–the barangay–had been held back for quite some time.
In a recent town hall forum held in Maddela, Quirino, Lacson said it is only proper to keep the preparations going for the barangay elections scheduled on Dec. 5 this year.
“Alam niyo ilang beses nang na postpone ang barangay elections (You know, the barangay elections had been postponed several times). Baka naman panahon na para ituloy na natin nang sa ganoon magkaroon na ng malayang pagpili ang ating mga kababayan kung sino ‘yung gusto nilang maging punong barangay ( Maybe it’s about time for us to go on with it, so our countrymen would have the freedom to choose who they want to serve as the next barangay chairman),’’ he said.
‘’Because without elections, we don’t have a choice, right? Because the terms of the incumbent barangay chairman kept being extended. So, I guess, it’s about time to… Although there would be expenses to be incurred, I think we can provide the necessary funds for it,’’ he stressed.
The presidential candidate indicated that the remaining unused appropriations in the 2022 national budget might be realigned to cover the expenses for the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
‘’I always think about the democratic process and the freedom of our people to choose their leaders. So, if you ask me, I believe we don’t have to postpone the barangay elections anymore and go on with it,’’ he pointed out.
Elections for local village leaders and youth councils were supposed to have been originally held in November 2016. The target schedules then kept being postponed to later dates—from May 2018 to May 2020 up to December 5, 2022—following the approval of several pieces of legislation for its deferment.
In November 2021, another bill was introduced by a member of the House of Representatives seeking to push the barangay elections again to May 6, 2024. There was no reported counterpart measure filed in the Senate.