What you need to know about the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 30) — The country is in the thick of preparations for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) on October 30.

Voters will elect new officials of 42,027 barangays across 82 provinces nationwide. The last time such polls were held was in 2018.

RELATED: Over 65,000 PDLs may vote in barangay, SK polls – Comelec

Over 1.4 million people have filed for candidacy, said the Commission on Elections.

Who are qualified to run? And what are the responsibilities of the winning candidates? Here is what you need to know about the upcoming polls.

Barangay officials

There are nearly 97,000 aspirants for punong barangay (chairman) and over 730,000 eye posts in the sangguniang barangay (barangay council).

To qualify to run for either position, a potential candidate must have the following qualifications:

- a Filipino citizen

- a registered voter in the barangay where election is sought

- a resident of the barangay for at least a year before election day

- able to read and write Filipino

- at least 18 years old on election day

According to Book III of the Local Government Code, among the responsibilities of the barangay chairman is to enforce all laws and ordinances, maintain public order in the area of jurisdiction, and — with the approval of all the members of the Sangguniang Barangay — enter into contracts in behalf of the barangay as well as appoint or replace the barangay treasurer, secretary, and other appointive barangay officials.

The Sangguniang Barangay, meanwhile, is made up of the barangay chairman who will serve as the presiding officer, seven regular members elected at large and the Sangguniang Kabataan chairman, as members.

Among the benefits officials receive are a monthly honoraria of no less than ₱1,000 for the Punong Barangay and ₱600 for the Sangguniang Barangay members, treasurer, and secretary. They also receive a Christms bonus, insurance coverage, and free medical care.

Sangguniang Kabataan

The National Youth Commission (NYC) says the SK was created through the Local Government Code of 1991. Its forerunners are the Kabataang Barangay created in 1975, the Pambansang Katipunan ng Kabataang Barangay created in 1977, and the Presidential Council for Youth Affairs (1987).

The first election for SK leaders was held in December 1992. The Sangguniang Kabataan is composed of a chairman, seven members, a secretary, and a treasurer.

The NYC states that to run for SK office a candidate must have the following qualifications:

- a Filipino citizen

- a registered member of the Katipunan ng Kabataan (KK)

- a resident of the barangay for not less than one year a day before the elections

- at least 18 years old, but not over 24 years of age

- able to read and write in English, Filipino, or the local dialect used in the barangay where office is sought

- not have been convicted by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude

- not be related, during the period of his/her candidacy and on the effective day of his/her election/appointment, to within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent elected national official, nor to any incumbent elected regional, provincial, city, municipal, or barangay official, in the locality where she/he seeks to be elected or will be appointed

Included in the privileges for those elected into SK posts are free education and payment of matriculation fees while enrolled in any public tertiary school including state colleges and universities.

The Local Government Code of 1991 says the duties of SK officials include promulgating resolutions needed to carry out the objectives of the youth in the barangay, holding fund-raising activities, and creating bodies or committees needed to effectively carry out programs and activities.

The KK is made up of Filipino citizens aged 15 to 30 living in the barangay for at least six months, and are registered in the list of the Commission on Elections and/or the records of the Sangguniang Kabataan secretary. The KK shall elect the SK chairperson and members.

Why is BSKE not automated?

Commission on Elections chairman George Garcia told CNN Philippines’ The Source the polls on Oct. 30 will be done manually. This means that voters will have to write down their choices on ballots instead of shading.

Counting of votes will be also done manually, with electoral board members reading the ballots one by one and writing the results on a blackboard.

Asked why the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections will be held manually, Garcia said this has always been the practice because of the expenses that come with the conduct of automated polls. Moreover, results will not be transmitted as the votes will only be canvassed in the polling place, he added.

Voting will start at 7 a.m. and end at 3 p.m., he said. Tallying of votes is expected to be completed by 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. to be followed by proclamations by 12 a.m. to 1 a.m. the following day, he added.

Teacher deployment

Garcia said that 846,000 teachers across the country will serve as electoral board members during the village-level polls. Per precinct, there will be a chairman and two members, he noted.

He said personnel from the Philippine National Police are also being trained to serve as substitutes in case the teachers will be unable to perform their duties.

Aside from this, the Comelec official said honoraria to be received by electoral board members were increased to ₱10,000 from ₱6,000 for the chairman, and ₱9,000 from ₱5,000 for the members, which are the same rate distributed during the 2022 automated polls.

Garcia said they decided to increase the honoraria because teachers will have to work longer hours to complete the manual tallying of votes.