Congress ratifies bicam report moving barangay, SK polls to October 2023

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 28) — The Senate and the House of Representatives have ratified the bicameral conference committee report seeking the postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls to the last Monday of October 2023.

The elections were first proposed to be postponed for a year, or to December 2023.

Both chambers of Congress on Wednesday ratified the report, which reconciled House Bill No. 4673 and Senate Bill No. 1306. Both sought the postponement of the barangay and SK elections.

The measure will be sent to Malacañang for President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s signature.

The reconciled version of the Senate bill was reported during the plenary session by Senator JV Ejercito, chairman of the Senate committee on local government.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel, and Senators Risa Hontiveros and Pia Cayetano voted against the ratification.

Pimentel argued that the date of October 2023 did not come up in Senate debates, but Ejercito explained the conduct of an election in October has happened before. He added that the elections would also fall on a school break -- perfect for students who wish to vote.

The House followed suit an hour after the measure was approved by the Senate.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) previously appealed to lawmakers to finalize their decision on the fate of the barangay and SK polls before the end of the month so as not to waste funds.

It added that "only a fraction" of the allotted ₱8.4-billion fund has been spent so far.

The poll body also bared it would need additional funds should the barangay and SK elections be postponed as it sees the number of voters ballooning, which would mean the need for more precincts, supplies, and staff.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Eimor Santos contributed to this report.