Poll suspension an ‘opportunity’ for officials to finish projects

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

Barangay officials, especially those whose terms are about to expire, should take advantage of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections’ (BSKE) fresh postponement to next year to act on or finish their pending or ongoing projects.

Liga ng mga Barangay-Iloilo Provincial Federation President Dorothy Paes told Aksyon Radyo Iloilo on Thursday that she was not expecting President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to approve the extension, even as it was approved and ratified by the 19th Congress.

“We had been waiting for the finality of the law. Personally, I wasn’t expecting [Marcos Jr.] to sign the law because the [Commission on Elections] already scheduled the filing [of certificates for candidacy] on October 22,” Paes said in a radio interview.

She said that while majority of barangay captains in the province wanted an extension, there were also those who wished to proceed with the original schedule of the election on December 5, 2022.

“In reality, our barangay officials are not 100 percent bound to their obligations. The reason of the barangay captains [who oppose the postponement] is because they want to replace these negligent officials,” she stated.

Paes said that this term extension would enable them to finish ongoing projects and programs, and start those unimplemented ones.

She cited her recent meeting with the province’s Liga presidents, where they told her that the extension would be very useful.

“To our barangay officials who haven’t implemented their programs, projects, and activities, now is the opportunity to start. We have been given 1 more year to implement our programs and projects to prove, as we were hushed down by COVID before, we can do that now,” she said.

Marcos Jr. signed Republic Act No. 11935 on Monday, October 10, which effectively postpones the BSKE to October 2023.

This was a priority proposal by Congress, with multiple pronouncements of support from pro-administration members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The Liga ng mga Barangay in Iloilo province is composed of 1,721 barangays in 42 municipalities and the component city of Passi.