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Bill moving village polls certified urgent

By: Genalyn D. Kabiling and Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

President Duterte has asked Congress to swiftly pass the bill on the postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections without giving him the power to appoint the officers-in-charge to avoid any political mess.

The President said Congress must put in place a “mechanism” that will address any vacancy in the event the barangay polls are postponed.

The bill on the October barangay and SK elections has been certified as urgent by the President to facilitate its swift approval in Congress.

“I said, ‘I’m not interested in appointing the public officials.’ Itong mga kagawad pati barangay captain kasi magkagulo lang. Baka ‘yung isa doon magalit sa akin so why would I?” Duterte said during his visit to Marawi City last Thursday.

“Sabi ko ‘Place there a mechanism that I do not have anything to do with it. Approve it as a law. Do not give me powers of concessions which I do not need anymore,’” he said.

Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said yesterday that the resignation of Secretary Rodolfo Salalima should not affect the implementation of projects and reforms in the DICT.

“After power and water, broadband is the third utility, and that importance is reflected in the national budget, which authorizes billions of pesos in making Internet fast, free, and fair,” Recto said in a statement.

“So I hope that the Department of Information and Communications Technology, despite being the youngest department, has a deep talent pool from where Secretary Salalima’s replacement will be picked so there will be no service interruption,” he added.