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PIA Press Release

Cebu mayor bats for barangay, SK polls next month to level playing field

Cebu City (20 September) -- Pushing through with the barangay polls next month will level the playing field for those interested to run for the post of barangay captain but has no sufficient money to fund his/her campaign as against those backed by politicians.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeņa said he is not in favor of the postponement of the barangay and the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections as the Lower House recently approved for the deferment of both polls.

The Senate in a caucus however, has rejected the Congress' move for the postponement of both polls and instead concurred that the barangay and SK elections should push through as scheduled on October 29.

Osmeņa said pushing through with the local polls next month will level the playing field of ordinary candidates without political backing and those that have the support of politicos including congressmen and mayors. With the mid-term elections just recently concluded, politicians did not have the money to back their pet which is a major factor why most politicians are in favor of postponing the local polls at a later date.

Without financial backing of politicians, ordinary candidates have a chance to win and the results of the local polls would truly reflect the sentiments of the people, Osmeņa added.

A broadcast journalist who is running for the position of barangay captain also expressed hopes that the local elections will go on as scheduled.

Ramil Ayuman, an incumbent barangay councilor of Apas, Cebu City who is gunning for the top barangay post said postponing the local polls is unfair. Incumbent barangay captains are overstaying in their post, according to Ayuman.

Under RA 9164 or the synchronized Barangay and SK Elections Act, both local polls shall be held on July 15, 2002 and every three years thereafter but the actual election date has been moved to the last Monday of October.

The term of office of all barangay and sangguniang kabataan officials after the effectivity of this Act shall be three years.

Even though it is not yet clear if the synchronized barangay and SK polls would really push through, Ayuman said he has not stopped preparing for his candidacy for the barangay elections.

Ayuman said barangay captains must focus on providing basic public services that need to reach every barangay resident and cited garbage collection as an example. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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