Neophyte solon echoes calls for deferment of barangay, SK polls

Neophyte solon Davao Oriental 2nd district Rep. Cheeno Almario wants to postpone the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) that are scheduled to take place this Dec. 5, 2022.

Rep. Cheeno Almario (Photo from House of Representatives Media Bureau)

Almario filed House Bill (HB) No. 1367 to effectively defer the BKSE from Dec. 5, 2022, to his proposed date of Oct. 9, 2023.

According to the measure's explanatory note, the twin elections would cost the national government about P10 billion, hence the need to defer the elections amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the rising cost of basic goods.

“On the other hand, the May 9, 2022 national and local elections ushered in new sets of officials, elected and re-elected, who will definitely benefit from the experience of the existing barangay and SK officials in fighting the pandemic. Replacing these barangay and SK officials with a new set at this time, when the country is still trying to get back on its feet, will be counterproductive,” Almario said in a statement on Wednesday, July 13.

The neophyte solon also thinks that postponing the BKSE would be a way to “heal the wounds” inflicted by the divisive 2022 national elections.

However, Almario isn’t the only 19th Congress lawmaker batting for the postponement of the BKSE; Leyte 4th district Rep. Richard Gomez similarly filed HB 937 postponing the Dec. 5, 2022 polls by one year, to Dec. 5, 2023.

Read: Gomez seeks one-year deferment of village, youth polls; here's why

Meanwhile, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel and Quezon City 2nd district Rep. Ralph Tulfo have spoken out against the proposed lengthy deferment of the BKSE.

Read: Solons want barangay, SK polls to push through sooner than later