Senate body agrees to defer village polls

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A SENATE body on Wednesday agreed in principle to defer the May 2020 village and youth council elections, but has yet to decide on the new dates.

The committee on electoral reforms and people’s participation headed by Senator Imee R. Marcos tackled several bills seeking to move the elections to October 2022 for village officials and to May 2023 for youth councils.

Election Commissioner Antonio T. Kho, Jr. said they need a gap of at least a year from the national and local elections in May 2022 to prepare better.

“If this election does not push through, our request is that it should not be close to the 2020 elections,” he told lawmakers.

He also asked the committee to decide soon so they can start deferring the procurement of election materials originally meant for next year.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon proposed that elections be held instead in 2021 so incumbent village and youth council officials can complete their three-year term.

Augusto Lagman, who heads the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections, said Mr. Drilon’s proposal was a “very good compromise.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan