The Senate on Tuesday night passed on third reading and final reading the measure to postpone the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, along with Senate Bill 1310 or the Mandatory SIM Registration Bill, and the Bicycle Lanes, Walkways and Slow Street Act.
With 17 affirmative votes, two No votes and zero abstention, the senators opted to defer the December 5, 2022 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls.
However, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III and Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros opposed the postponement of the elections for next year.
Instead of holding the elections on December 2023, Ontiveros said it should be conducted on May 2023.
Senator Imee Marcos, the sponsor or the measure, rejected Hontiveros’ suggestion.
However, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano recommended an amendment that a candidate eligible to run for the December 5, 2022 SK elections should also be eligible in in the December 2023 polls.
Under the proposed measure, the Barangay and SK elections will be held on the second Monday of December 2023.
The term of the elected officials will commence on January 1, 2024.
The next Barangay and SK elections will be held during the second Monday of May 2026.
From then on, the elections will be held every three years.
The term of the winners in the May 2026 will start on June 30, 2026.
On the Mandatory SIM Card Registration bill, 20 senators supported it while nobody opposed to it.
The senators revived and approved the measure to ensure the protection of the public against the proliferation of text scams.
Under the measure, all newly bought SIM cannot be activated unless registered online using the real name and valid identification card of the subscriber.
Active prepaid SIM will be given 180 days to register.
After the lapse of this period, the card will be automatically deactivated by the issuing telecommunications company.
Telcos are strictly mandated to protect and guarantee the privacy of all information of post-paid and pre-paid subscribers, unless ordered by authorities or the court due to an investigation.