Comelec: Preps to continue despite bills postponing barangay, SK polls

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 28) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Wednesday preparations for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in December would not be halted despite bills seeking to defer them.

Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garwin said the decision was made in accordance with existing law.

The poll body also said enacting a new law to reschedule the elections to a later date would "still take quite a considerable time from now."

The Senate on Tuesday passed on third and final reading the measure proposing to defer the December polls. Seventeen senators voted yes to the bill seeking to reschedule the elections to December 2023.

READ: Senate OKs postponement of barangay, SK polls

The House of Representatives approved its counterpart version of the bill last week.

Funds allotted for the barangay and SK elections were at ₱8.441 billion, but "only a fraction" has been spent so far, the Comelec said.

"Sa kasalukuyan po, mahigit ₱1 billion pa lamang. Hindi pa kami nagbabayad nung nabigyan namin ng notice of award. Pero anytime po na mag-deliver na sila ng mga kagamitan, kami po ay magbabayad na," Garcia said.

[Translation: Currently, it is just over ₱1 billion. We have yet to pay those who bagged notices of award. But anytime they deliver the materials, we will settle the payment.]

He noted that the bulk of the funds is earmarked for teachers' honoraria.