Sen. Leila M. de Lima has filed a measure seeking to extend the term of office for all elective barangay officials from the current three to five years with a maximum of two consecutive terms to allow them to fully implement their programs in their localities.
In filing Senate Bill No. 371, De Lima said the barangay as a basic political unit of the country serves as the frontliner in the delivery of basic and important services to the people needing immediate assistance and support.
“The barangay officials, including the Sangguniang Kabataan, are effective partners of the national government in maintaining law and order, and in accelerating economic development throughout the country,” she said.
“With this Herculean task, the present term of office for barangay elective officials may be too short for them to fully implement and realize their notable program of peace and development in their localities, she added.
Under Senate Bill 371, the term of office for all elective barangay officials shall be extended from the current three years to five years, with no barangay elective official serving for more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same position.
The former justice secretary noted that her proposal would spare barangay officials from the regular political changes done almost every three years corresponding to the term of office among other local and national elected officials.
“In order to promote continuity of service at the barangay level, and to insulate the elective officials from the vagaries of partisan politics, this bill seeks to extend the term of office for elective barangay officials,” she said.
She added the proposed 5-year term of office for barangay officials would not only minimize partisan political interference at the village level but also, most importantly, allow them to pursue uninterruptedly the delivery of programs for the public.
De Lima also explained that the measure also seeks to extend the term of office of the members of the Sanggunian Kabataan and to immediately postpone the barangay and SK elections from October 2016 to October 2018.
“Given that the Commission on Elections is still reeling from the daunting task of accomplishing the requirements of the recently-concluded national and local elections, the hiatus will likewise provide the poll agency sufficient time to prepare for the nationwide conduct of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan synchronized elections,” she said.