Lawmakers seek postponement of barangay polls anew

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 2) — At least two lawmakers are seeking to postpone the village and youth council polls slated for next year and have them pushed back by up to three years.

Isabela Rep. Faustino "Inno" Dy V wants to push back the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections from May 2020 to May 2023 to give the incumbent officials a full five-year term.

Dy and Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, who is pushing for a two-year postponement of the elections, said the terms of the incumbent officials have been cut short to only two years as the last polls was held just last year.

The barangay and SK polls originally slated for May 2016 were suspended twice, delaying them by two years. Officials in office then were allowed to extend their terms.

Dy and Go said delaying the elections would give village and youth council officials enough time to implement their programs and advocacies.

Mga barangays natin ang pinaka-frontline ng ating gobyerno sa paghahatid ng serbisyo at sa kampanya natin laban sa iligal na droga at kriminalidad. Kaya dapat lang na mabigyan natin sila ng sapat na panahon upang makapagpatupad ng kani-kanilang mga programa at proyekto sa kanilang mga nasasakupan,” he said.

[Translation: Our barangays are the frontlines of our government in delivering services and in our campaign against drugs and criminality. That’s why it’s only right that they are given enough time to implement their programs and projects in their constituencies.]

Duterte previously called for the postponement of village and youth council elections out of fear that drug money would finance the candidacies of local bets. Other lawmakers also said suspending these elections is necessary for them to focus on amending the Constitution.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Xianne Arcangel contributed to this report.