THE HOUSE of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill that seeks to postpone village and youth elections to next year.
Voting 264-6, with 3 abstentions, the chamber approved House Bill 4673, which calls for the elections to be moved to Dec. 4, 2023 from Dec. 5.
Under the bill, future elections will be held every three years starting December 2026.
Party-list Rep. Arlene D. Brosas, who voted no, said postponing village and youth elections “subverts the constitutional provision on the regular conduct of local elections and the people’s right to elect a new set of local leaders.”
“Polls for barangays and Sangguniang Kabataan have been repeatedly delayed since 2016,” she said in plenary. “The October 2016 election were moved to October 2017. Then, it was postponed to May 2018, which was then rescheduled to December 2022.”
Elections for youth leaders and village officials were set for May 2021 but were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is a big violation of the right of the people to choose their leaders, to pick who gets to hold office,” Party-list Rep. France L. Castro, who also voted no, said in plenary. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo