Comelec: 45% of barangays proclaim winners

10/27/2010 - THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the counting and proclamation of winners in this year’s barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections went smoothly with 45 percent of villages already proclaimed winners.

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, Divina Blas-Perez of the Elections and Barangay Affairs Department (EBAD) said 18,936 out of the 42,025 villages nationwide have a new set of leaders already.

“We are still getting reports from the field and we expect the percentage of proclaimed areas to increase between now (Tuesday) and Wednesday,” she said.

The poll body has expected a lower voter turnout of 60 percent compared to the presidential elections last May, citing lack of interest and lingering effects of Typhoon Juan (international codename: Megi) on affected residents.

Comelec said 2,252 out of the 2,460 barangays affected by logistical delays last Monday were able to conduct elections Tuesday while 117 barangays are scheduled to have it today, Wednesday.

Of the 117, Perez said 19 barangays are from Dagupan City and the rest are in Tamparan, Lanao del Sur, Marawi City, Capiz, Negros Occidental, Libacao in Aklan, among others.

Elections in 41 villages, on the other hand, have yet to be determined by the seven-member Comelec en banc after these areas bore the brunt of Typhoon Juan.

The list includes 39 villages in Maconacon, Divilacan and Palanan in Isabela and San Isidro and Salumague in Paniqui, Tarlac.

Up for grabs in the polls are 42,025 and 294,175 seats for barangay chairmen and barangay kagawads, respectively, and 42,025 for SK chairmen and 294,175 slots for SK kagawads.

Comelec records showed a total of 163,484 clustered or grouped polling precincts for the synchronized polls across the country but the counting was done manually.

It said there are 52.7 million registered voters for the barangay election and 2.4 million for the Sangguniang Kabataan polls.

Hands off on SK abolition

Meanwhile, the Comelec refused to join the rehashed debate on the proposed abolition of the SK as it left the matter to lawmakers.

“It would be a question of legislation. Let’s leave it to the lawmakers to decide on the issue. We are just implementers of the law,” said Commissioner Rene Sarmiento.

Earlier, Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo proposed for the repeal of Section 423 to 439 of the Local Government Code that will in effect abolish the SK.

Robredo also batted for the amendment of Section 387 (a) and 390 of the same law to include a youth representative in the barangay who shall be elected at large by the youth aged 15 but less than 18 years old during the elections.

Allegations of corruption and inefficiency hobbled the SK for years, which prompted even local government code author former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. to push for its abolition in the past congresses.

Akbayan Representative Arlene Bag-ao, on the other hand, filed House Bill 468 seeking reforms in the SK, which include fiscal autonomy and responsibility, increased age range, anti-dynasty provision, among others (Sun Star)

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