Senate, House approve on final reading to defer barangay, SK polls

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Both the Senate and the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading two bills postponing the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

The elections, which were initially scheduled for October 31 this year, will be moved to October 23, 2017, as per the approved Senate Bill 1112 and House Bill 3504.

Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms Chairman Rep. Sherwin Tugna confirmed the passing of the House Bill to CNN Philippines via a phone call.

Related: House agrees to postpone barangay, SK elections

In the Senate, voting 20-2, the senators said the postponement will give way to necessary reforms. Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Ralph Recto voted against it.

Sen. Migz Zubiri said that pushing through with the elections this October will slow down the government's war on illegal drugs.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he fears "drug money will seep into the electoral protest," which is why he is inclined to postpone the twin elections.

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said the passage of the Senate bill complemented similar moves in the House.

If the Senate and House versions of the bill are identical, there is no need for a bicameral conference committee to reconcile conflicting provisions.

The final version has to be submitted to Malacañang, where President Duterte either signs it into law or vetoes it.