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Brillantes expresses apprehension over proposed October 2015 barangay polls

December 6, 2012 7:31pm

Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. has expressed apprehension over the proposed measure in the Senate to conduct the next barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in October 2015.

Interviewed on Thursday, Brillantes said conducting the barangay and SK elections in October 2015 will leave the Comelec with less than a year to prepare for the May 2016 elections.

"Hindi importante sa akin kung ano 'yung term. Ang importante sa akin when should the barangay elections be held,” he said.

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., through Senate Bill 3296, has proposed to move the October 2013 barangay and SK elections to October 15. The bill also proposes to extend the term of barangay and SK officials elected during the Oct. 25, 2010 elections to five years, or until November 2015.

The bill, which has already been approved by the Senate committee on local government under Marcos, is also seeking for a fixed five-year term for barangay and SK officials. Their current term is three years.

Brillantes, however, said if the lawmakers will insist on an election in 2015, it should be done on the first part of the year.

"Kung gusto nilang i-extend sa 2015, first part ng 2015 para malayo pa ang darating na May elections. Para may gap na malayo na isang taon mahigit," he said.

Marcos, in the bill's explanatory note, said the measure would "not only save money to fund other aspect of national development but more importantly, to give the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials a longer period to pursue their program of development uninterrupted by concerns for re-election."

He said the government spends P3 billion to finance the conduct of barangay and SK elections — an amount that if spent every three years "is so enourmous to escape public scrutiny and consideration in light of our budgetary constraints." Marc Jayson Cayabyab/KBK, GMA News
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