Malacañang on Saturday assured that the Department of the Interior and Local Governments and the Commission on Elections are prepared if the October Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will not be postponed.
"While we adhere to the President's position of postponement of barangay and SK elections, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), like the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), has always been prepared if in case the barangay elections will push through," presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista had said the poll body prefers the barangay and SK elections to be held on May 2018 or May 2020 if Congress would pass proposed bills for its postponement.
Duterte had been pushing for the postponement of the barangay elections, saying 40 percent of officials in the barangay level have drug links.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading House Bill 6308, which calls for the postponement of the synchronized barangay and SK elections from Oct. 23, 2017 to the second Monday of May 2018.
Under the bill, incumbent barangay officials will be on hold-over positions until they are replaced by their successors after the elections.
A counterpart bill filed by Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III has yet to be approved by the upper chamber.
Sotto's bill proposes the postponement of the elections to October 2018.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III had said the upper chamber will wait for the House to act on the proposed postponement of the barangay elections before deciding on Sotto's bill. —Marlly Rome C. Bondoc/ALG, GMA News