Thursday, September 06, 2007

Too late to defer bgy-SK polls

By: Bernadette E. Tamayo
IT is already “too late” to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections set on October 29 since preparations for the twin polls are well under way, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. said yesterday.

With the village and youth polls barely two months away, Pimentel said it would be too late to postpone the elections, even if deferment of the polls has been endorsed by the committee on electoral reforms of the House of Representatives.

“And secondly, the Comelec (Commission on Elections) has been saying it’s all systems go for the polls,” he said. The House committee on electoral reforms has approved the postponement of the barangay and SK polls from Oct. 29 this year to the second Monday of October 2009.

Pimentel warned that hundreds of millions of pesos in taxpayers’ money will go to waste if the twin political exercises will be postponed anew. He noted that the Comelec has already used up a huge fraction of the P2 billion budget for the barangay-SK polls, including about P300 million for the registration of new voters.

“In my view, the move to reset the barangay and SK elections is already moot and academic. In the first place, the Department of Budget and Management has assured that there are funds available for the purpose and it has in fact started releasing funds,” Pimentel said.

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