Agusan del Norte 2nd district Rep. Dale Corvera (Facebook)
Agusan del Norte 2nd district Rep. Dale Corvera has filed a bill seeking to change the term of office of barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials from the current three years to five years.
House Bill (HB) No. 9557 aims to introduce a fixed five-year term with a limit of two consecutive terms.
Through his measure, Corvera hopes to “discourage the recurring practice of postponing their election and to allow them to exercise their mandate with less pressure on the frequency of election”.
“The job of barangay officials has lately become complex considering that they are at the forefront of public service and that the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government), DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and many other agencies have made so many innovations on their programs which the barangays are mandated to implement at the grassroots level,” he said in a statement on Sunday, Nov. 19.
The Mindanaoan argued that in the current three-year term, the first year for newly elected barangay and SK officials acts as “some sort of orientation” for their new job.
The second year, meanwhile, serves as “preparation for his re-election on the following year” which will render the official short of what is expected from the position.
Corvera emphasized that a three-year term is “very short for deserving officials”.
“They should be given enough time to be able to finish their priority projects or programs for the barangay and prove themselves worthy to the office to which they were elected,” he added.
The lawmaker pointed out that Section 8, Article X of the 1987 Constitution provided the term of office of elected officials to three years except for barangay officials, which will be determined by law but shall not go beyond three consecutive terms.
The Local Government Code of 1991 would later fix the term of office to three years with a term limit of three consecutive terms.
Several laws postponing the barangay and SK elections and extending the tenure of barangay and SK officials as a consequence of the postponement virtually amended this measure.
“The adjustment of the term of office from [three to five] years will hopefully concretize ‘genuine periodic elections’ for barangay and SK officials as well as minimize election expenses which our country incur due to frequent elections,” Corvera stressed. –Dexter Barro II
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