PEOPLE line up outside the Commission on Elections office in Quezon City on July 8 to register as voters for the supposed Dec. 2022 barangay and youth council elections. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE BILL seeking to postpone the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) aligns with a Supreme Court (SC) decision that previously declared a similar delay unconstitutional, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte, Jr. said on Thursday.

Discussing House Bill No. 10344 over the phone with reporters, Mr. Villafuerte said: “We respect the Supreme Court decision 100%. The Supreme Court decision states that it does not preclude Congress from further amending the law on barangay elections.”

He explained that his proposed measure supports not only the SC decision and the Constitution but also the Local Government Code by “complying with the three-year term” of barangay officials. These officials were elected last October, with the next elections already set for December next year.

He clarified that his proposed measure does not seek to extend the current term of the officials but rather harmonize the barangay election cycle, as the 2022 BSKE was postponed to 2023 by virtue of Republic Act No. 11935.

“The Supreme Court said that postponement is unconstitutional because the right of suffrage, the choice, is violated,” he said. He also noted that incumbent officials will only have two years in public office, which is shorter than what the Constitution and the Local Government Code prescribe. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio