Caritas PH rejects BSKE postponement

Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Catholic Church, opposed the proposed postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan election set for December this year.

Caritas Philippines

Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, national director of Caritas Philippines saidpushing back the barangay and SK elections for the third time since 2016 reflects how national political leaders "undermine the importance of barangay level politics in the exercise of our democratic rights.” “It is not right for the government to suppress electoral processes, especially that the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections are seen as the most accessible and organic form of citizen’s engagement in public service and governance," he said in a statement Saturday, May 28.

Caritas Philippines said in 2020, the barangay and SK elections were postponed to 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the same reason is being cited in the postponement bills.

Fr. Tony Labiao, Caritas Philippines executive secretary, said the government should not use the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to postpone the December elections.

“Different government agencies still allocated funds for the ongoing Covid-19 response. And we know how even the Department of Health was not able to fully expend its budget last year. Thus, like in any other organization, our government needs to step up its game to ensure good planning and better execution, and not to use this as a lame excuse to postpone the December elections,” he said.