Longer term for barangay officials eyed to prevent postponement of polls

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto is proposing a longer-term for barangay officials to prevent the repeated postponement of barangay elections.

While recognizing that his proposal has its “pros and cons,” Recto underscored the need to end the “habit” of scrapping barangay polls.

“Admittedly, this proposal has its pros and cons, but the bottom line is that in governance, whatever the office, a shorter term for a bad official is too long, while a longer-term for a good official is too short,” Recto said Friday in a statement.

At present, the term of office of barangay officials is three years.

“The important thing is that we should now begin looking into a longer-term for barangay officials, in the hope that its length would serve as a deterrent to schemes to postpone elections,” Recto added.

The Senate recently passed on second reading Senate Bill No. 1043 seeking to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections slated on December 5, 2022.

Without amendments in the law on barangays, Recto said there is a possibility that the next presidents after President Rodrigo Duterte “will succumb to the national bad habit of scrapping barangay polls.”

Should the 2020 barangay polls be postponed anew, Recto noted it would be the third time under the Duterte administration and seventh time since 1988.

“We have postponed the barangay elections six times since 1988. The proposed scrapping of the one scheduled in May 2020 will be the 7th. If it pushes through, it will be the 3rd under the Duterte administration, and the first three-peat of its kind in history,” Recto said.

Recto also pointed out the premises of bills postponing the barangay elections always promises “it will be the last.”

“That was the refrain in 1988, 1989, 2002, 2005, 2016, and 2017. Ang ‘never again,’ nagging ‘let me try again,’” Recto said.

“The result is an elastic term of office for our barangay officials, longer than what they should get,” he continued.

Source: Inquirer.net

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