Why the B&SK elections might not be postponed

For the past week, the buzz has all been about how the House of Reps is vigorously pushing for the postponement of the B&SK elections. With that much coverage given to the House efforts, it seemed to everyone that postponement was a done deal.

Well, it isn’t.

Approval of the Bill in the House only gets them halfway there. There’s still the Senate to contend with. And based on this article – which I nicked from the Manila Bulletin Online – it doesn’t look like the postponement boat will encounter placid waters in the Upper Chamber.

Rock on!

Barangay Elections

By Manny Villar

OUR barangay system of governance brings democracy to the lowest community level. It is a vital instrument in enabling the people to feel and interact with government directly.

The political role of barangays in strengthening democracy in the country cannot be overemphasized.

Every effort must be exerted to firm up the credibility and the relevance of the barangays. This implies that the right of barangay residents to choose their kagawads and punong barangays as provided for by the law must be respected and upheld. It also follows that the holding of barangay elections as legally specified and scheduled should be sustained.

Indeed, it was bad enough that the last scheduled barangay elections were postponed. Another postponement would be worse. It would trivialize the whole meaning of participatory democracy at the community level.

No doubt funding an electoral exercise on a nationwide scale exerts pressure on the national treasury. But any election is the heart and soul of democracy.

Moreover, a second postponement of barangay elections would be beneficial only to present barangay officials who are already holding office beyond their terms. Another postponement would simply extend their terms some more to the prejudice of barangay residents.

A second postponement of barangay elections can only be construed by the people that the barangay system of governance is the least of our national priorities. Why is there a budget for another national election and none for choosing barangay leaders? To ordinary people, it does not seem to make sense.

And assuming that the October barangay elections will be moved to 2008 or 2009, what assurance is there that a third postponement will not be proposed? If budgetary constraint is the main argument for the second postponement, will this problem disappear next time?

This whole practice of postponing barangay elections may become habitual to a point when the people will be indifferent to the barangay system.

This possibility should never be allowed to happen.

Money used for holding the October barangay elections is really an investment in democracy. An investment in making people believe that their right to choose their barangay officials is inviolable.

As they say nowadays, waleh keng ketulad, meni!

6 Responses

  1. sir james, i have a hypothetical scenario which could be prevailing around the country:

    Barangay Chairman A died two years ago and was succeded by Kagawad B, the first counselor. Now since there was a vacant position in the Barangay Kagawad members, the son of the late Chairman (lets call him A1) was appointed as Kagawad. Question sir:

    (1) Is A1 considered as an incumbent official in the upcoming elections?
    (2) will the years he served as Kagawad be counted as his first term in office, such that he (A1) can only seek re-election for two more terms?
    (3) will the years served by Chairman B be considered as his first term as Barangay Chairman?

    Hoping for clarification sir

  2. Thanks for the question, CEO Macute, but policy considerations dictate that hypothetical questions can’t be answered. We don’t want the COMELEC to be estopped (bound by a hypothetical answer) when the hypothetical question becomes a real live case.

  3. sir, naging real case na po… just now, may nagtatanong na po sa akin concerning the situation sa barangay council nila… may difference lang po sa time frame but basically, parehas po sa query ko sa itaas… sana po may ganitong blog din ang taga Law Department para we (field officers) can contact them immediately and mas madali po ang answers sa queries namin

  4. […] President Manuel Villar has already made his opinion public, so at that level at least, resistance to the postponement can be expected. I don’t […]

  5. what kind of country do we have their in the philippines most especially the politician who want to pospone the barangay election.im from united kingdom who are also updated with what was happening in the philippines.politicians are cheating most of the filipino people who wants changes in their respective leaders who are really corrupt and abusive to their constituents.How many posponment do they want?people in barangays are already very thirsty of the changes becase they can no longer swallow the abisive act by their leaders who dont really had the capability to give the needs of the people.OH MY GOD!PLEASE ENLIGHTHEN THE MIND OF OUR LEADRES AND HAVE PITY ON THOSE WHO WANTS CHANGES.

  6. PRO ANU YUNG CNABI NI PGMA NA POSTPONED NA TALAGA ANG ELECTION?

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