House ratifies bicam report on BSKE postponement

September 29, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 373 views

THE House of Representatives on Wednesday night ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the bill postponing the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE), originally slated for December this year, to October 2023.

After the House and the Senate had ratified the bicameral conference committee report, the measure would be sent to Malacañang for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. to sign into law.

Earlier, the respective bicameral conference panels of the House and the Senate met to harmonize the disagreeing provisions of House Bill (HB) No. 4673 and Senate Bill (SB) No. 1306, which both sought the postponement of the Barangay and SK elections.

The version of the bill approved by the House set the next barangay and SK elections on the first Monday of December 2023, while the Senate version slated it for the second Monday of December 2023.

Instead of holding the elections on December 2023, the bicameral conference committee agreed to reschedule the barangay and SK polls two months earlier, or on October 2023.

The harmonized version of the bill provides that “there shall be a synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, which shall be held on the last Monday of October 2023 and every three years thereafter.”

The term of office of officials elected in the 2023 barangay and SK elections shall commence at noon of November 30 next, following their election.

As a necessary consequence of the postponement, the measure contained a hold-over provision. It stated that “until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified, all incumbent barangay and SK officials shall remain in office unless sooner removed or suspended for cause.”

Likewise, such officials serving as ex officio members of the sangguniang bayan, sangguniang panglungsod, or sangguniang panlalawigan shall continue to serve in such capacity until the next barangay and SK elections, unless removed in accordance with existing rules or for the cause.

Funds necessary for the implementation of the law postponing the barangay and SK elections shall be taken from the appropriations of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or supplementary appropriations that Congress may subsequently approve.

Lawmakers had called for the postponement of the barangay and SK elections for various reasons, including the use of the P8.4-billion allocation for the polls to address the problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to give the country time to heal after the divisive 2022 national elections, among others.