MANILA, Philippines — Senator Jinggoy Estrada is seeking to postpone for a year the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections slated on December 5 this year.
The senator filed Senate Bill No. 453, amending Republic Act No. 9164, a copy of which was issued to reporters on Tuesday.
Estrada wants the barangay and SK polls to be deferred to the first Monday of December 2023, which falls on the 4th.
Estrada cited the May 9 elections and the COVID-19 pandemic as his considerations in lodging the measure.
“The recently concluded national election, albeit successful, had caused much divisiveness among the Filipino electorate. The political atmosphere is very polarized that plunging Filipino voters to another situation of political toxicity in a close interval would not be beneficial to our national well-being,” he said on his explanatory note.
“Furthermore, our country is still in the midst of a pandemic brought about by COVID-19. Our country has not yet fully recovered from the havoc brought about by the pandemic,” he added.
To cushion the impact of the health crisis, the senator suggested tapping the P8-billion budget allocated for the barangay and SK elections.
“The budget in the amount of eight billion for the conduct of the said election can be used to fund economic programs and health services to ease the effects of the pandemic to all Filipinos, particularly to those who were greatly affected,” he raised.