Bacolod City – Negros Occidental 3rd district Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez recently said that postponement of the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, to either May next year or May 2024, is now being discussed.
This also developed as Benitez disclosed that the postponement of barangay and SK elections, scheduled for December 5 this year, has big chances of being approved by the House of Representatives, noting that many solons passed proposed bills to delay it further from May 20 next year to December 2024.
Benitez however said it will be known once the committee hearings start.
The bills postponing the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections are expected to be consolidated during deliberations at the Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms.
Benitez said he expects that the law postponing the elections will be approved by the House of Representatives by early October or November.
The problem, he admitted, is it is now budget season deliberations. Let’s just wait and see, Benitez said.
As to deliberations of expanded Negros Island Region proposed bill, Benitez said it will be tackled either by committees on Government Reorganization or Visayan Development, or it could be a joint hearing.
Speaker Martin Ferdinand Romualdez earlier said that the government could save P8 billion to P10 billion if the election will be held in abeyance, adding that the amount could be used for the COVID-19 response of the government.
Lawmakers opposing the move have however pointed out that any savings would simply be deferred, and inflation could lead to more expensive polls in the future. (Gilbert Bayoran via tvds photo by tvds)