MANILA, Philippines – With the postponement of the 2020 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and barangay polls one of the priority bills to be passed by the 18th Congress, lawmakers are planning to redirect poll funds to other government departments.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said that the Php5 billion budget for the 2020 elections will now be allocated to other government agencies and their programs for next year.

Cayetano mentioned the recipients of the funds as the Department of Agriculture (DA) which will purchase more palay stocks as the plunging rice prices affect local farmers; the Department of Education (DepEd) for enhancement of the K-12 program; preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and ASEAN Para Games; nationwide electrification by 2022; and implementation of the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas Act of 2018.

The SK and barangay elections are set to be moved to May 2023 instead. The Php5 billion budget set for the polls, including some budget sourced from the right-of-way funds, will be realigned for the above-mentioned programs.

“First is sa barangay elections. So hindi naman natin itutuloy ang barangay elections, so there’s more than Php5 billion. The other one na nakita natin ‘yong right-of-way funds ay hindi magagamit lahat,” Cayetano said in an interview. (HGBH/LMO)

Photo from House of Representatives Facebook page

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