Namfrel pushes for the holding of BSKE in December

Published July 20, 2022, 11:49 AM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) has urged Congress to let the Dec. 5, 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) proceed as scheduled.

Namfrel FB

In a statement, on Wednesday, July 20, the poll watchdog group said, the will of the people, as expressed through the ballot, is the very essence of democracy.

Namfrel added that “this should not be set aside again.” The group said while the Constitution allows the legislature to determine the term of elective barangay officials through legislation, this does not mean that Congress should again postpone the BSKE.

“Notably, the law rescheduling the BSKE to Dec. 5, 2022 only amends but does not repeal the requirement under R.A. 9164 that synchronized BSKEs be held in October every three years,” it said.

“R.A. 9164 states that the term of elective barangay officials shall only be for three years. This three-year duration remains unchanged. The term of SK officials is also only three years under the SK Law, as amended. However, the term of the incumbents elected in 2018 have exceeded three years,” added Namfrel.

The group said the barangay being 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 that the implementation of national projects and programs, institutional memories of barangay and SK officials, and efforts to recover from the pandemic and address our economic woes would be strengthened by a renewed mandate for the punong barangay and the members of the sangguniang barangay.

As to the matter of savings, Namfrel said, 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,” it said.

“Given these points, Namfrel calls for the holding of the BSKE on Dec. 5, 2022, as scheduled,” added Namfrel.