Kuya Bong lauds BSKE postponement

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go commended President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. for signing Republic Act 11935 which postpones the December 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

Go said that the postponement will give barangay officials ample time to perform their mandates.

The measure — signed by Marcos on 10 October — now mandates that the Barangay and SK elections will be held on the last Monday of October 2023 and will then be conducted every three years thereafter.

The bicameral committee report on the postponement was ratified by the Senate and the House of Representatives on 28 September and the date change was taken into consideration for several reasons.

The reasons include a precedence of holding the elections in October; the date usually coincides with school break, allowing youth voters to participate; and data from a position paper by the Commission on Elections suggesting that it will be more cost-effective for the government if the elections were conducted on said date.

Previously, Go co-authored and co-sponsored the Senate bill providing for the postponement of elections. In his co-sponsorship speech, he pointed out that officials in barangays and the SK need enough time and continuity to pursue and carry out the plans they have established for their respective jurisdictions.

The senator also reaffirmed the need to empower barangays as the nation’s primary unit of governance as he vowed to continue pushing for measures that would provide barangay officials more opportunities to develop their capabilities as well as provide them regular pay and other benefits.

Go earlier refiled Senate Bill 197 which would provide for a Magna Carta for Barangays. The senator maintained that barangay officials should get comparable benefits to those provided to other government employees in recognition of their efforts to serve their constituents.

The lawmaker also filed SBN 427 which mandates the provision of allowances and incentives to barangay health workers. A monthly allowance of P3,000 will be provided to all barangay health workers.

They will also be entitled to security of tenure and other benefits and privileges.

Go reiterated that barangay personnel bear a heavy responsibility to help spur development in their locality so they should be provided with compensation comparable with the pay rate of regular government employees.

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