No House resolution for barangay election
By Juan Escandor Jr.
NAGA CITY—There was no resolution on the junking of the proposal to reset the barangay election to 2016, according to a congressman here.
Cong. Salvio Fortuno, fifth district representative of Camarines Sur, corrected the report last week that a House resolution had been passed that junked the proposal to reset the barangay election and finally hold it in October 2013.
Fortuno said what transpired in the House before Christmas break was that Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales had only announced that the proposal regarding the postponement of barangay election cannot be tackled anymore by the House.
He said the circumstance that the barangay election this year will not be postponed was an announcement from Gonzales because the House seemed to have no more time to discuss the proposal which was already at the committee level.
In the middle of last year, the call to postpone the barangay election in 2013 surfaced when several lawmakers broached the idea.
Last June, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported the announcement of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile that the leaders of the Senate and the House were considering the postponement of the October 2013 barangay elections to 2016.
The PNA said Enrile wanted the postponement of the barangay elections next year to “give barangay leaders three more years to pursue their projects.”
Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has filed in August Senate Bill No. 3242 that proposes the extension of terms of barangay officials to six years and a reset of barangay elections to 2016, the year of the presidential elections.
Revilla, in a public statement, declared that “There shall be no Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on October 2013. In lieu of this, the next synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections shall be held on the second Monday of October May 2016, synchronized with the national elections, and every six years thereafter.”
The local government committee of the House has approved a proposal to extend the term of barangay officials to five years, and with it the conduct of barangay elections on the last Monday of October 2015.
In this year’s national convention attended by Vice President Jejomar Binay and senatorial aspirants, the officers of the Liga ng mga Barangay lobbied the extension of five years the term of their members coming from the 42,000 barangays across the country.
Originally, the Local Government Code or RA 7160 provides for a term of office of barangay officials of three years for one term, and three consecutive terms of service.
But in 1997, the Liga ng mga Barangay started campaigning for the extension of the term of barangay officials to five years, which the tenth Congress heeded when it approved RA 8524, a month before the campaign period of the 1998 presidential elections.
Reverted to the original term of three years provided for by LGC or RA 7160, the 12th Congress passed RA 9164 that superseded the five-year term of barangay officials provided by RA 8524.
As the midterm elections draw near, talks about extending the terms of barangay officials surfaced again.