The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has rescheduled the filing of certificates of candidacy for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) from July to August.
Comelec chair George Garcia, quoted by GMA News, also said the filing for the BSKE elections had been moved from July 3 to 7 to August 28 to September 2.
“We approved just this morning, during our en banc session, the change of the date of the filing of the COC,” Garcia said, during a webinar of the UP Alumni Association and the Vinzons Policy Center (VPC) on enhancing the country’s readiness for clean and honest future elections.
Garcia, quoted by GMA News, further said “this is to ensure the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the PNP (Philippine National Police) will be most prepared, especially because of the violence we have right now,” involving local officials.
The development came a day after Senator Francis Tolentino said he asked the poll body to delay the COC filing as conducting it in July would only “burden the local government units (LGUs)” due to election-related restrictions enshrined under the Omnibus Election Code.
Tolentino said it was “only just and fair” to adjust the filing period given the BSKE would be held during the last week of October 2023 and that the law prescribed a 10-day campaign period when electing barangay and youth leaders, GMA News reported.
The BSKE has been repeatedly postponed since 2016. In October 2022, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed into law the measure delaying the December 2022 BSKE to the last Monday of October 2023.
Tolentino meanwhile lauded the decision of Comelec to delay the scheduled period for the filing of COCs.
He said the swift decision of the poll body to grant the request to reschedule the filing period on a much later date will not only help the local government units (LGUs) perform well but will also help prevent election-related violence since “it will lessen early politicking.”
“The poll body’s decision will allow our local government units to perform their respective functions without any compromise or restrictions—construction ban, etc,” Tolentino, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation, said. According to Tolentino, it is only just and fair to adjust the timeframe of the filing period. He earlier stressed that having the COC filing period done in July will only “burden the local government units (LGUs)” due to election-related restrictions enshrined under the Omnibus Election Code.