House resets bgy, SK polls; Senate okays palay purchase

November 04, 2019

THE House of Representatives yesterday approved two important measures on third and final reading.

The first vital measure approved was House Bill 4933 postponing the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

The bill, which got 194 affirmative votes against six, proposed the elections to be moved to December 5, 2022 from the original date of May 2020.

At least 38 separate bills calling for the postponement were consolidated into HB 4933.

Among the principal authors of the measure are Deputy Speaker and Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte; Majority Leader Martin Romualdez; Isabela Rep. Inno Dy; and Dumper party-list Rep. Claudine Diana Bautista.

If signed into law by President Duterte, the legislation will postpone for the third time the local elections under the present administration.

In 2016 and 2018 the elections were moved in order to clean the barangays and its officials of the drug issue.

Second bill was the House Joint Resolution No. 19 or extending the validity of the current P3.757-trillion budget in 2019 until December 31, 2020.

With a vote of 199-0-0, the resolution would extend the life of funds allocated for the maintenance and other operating expenses and for capital outlay under the 2019 budget.

House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez previously said they wanted to extend the 2019 budget’s validity following the months-long delay in its approval as well as the election ban that had barred the government from spending funds for new projects during the May elections.

Palay purchase

The Senate has approved on third and final reading a joint resolution authorizing the Philippine government to directly purchase palay from local farmers in select provinces.

Voting 21-0, senators adopted Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) No. 8 which aims to authorize the Department of Social Welfare and Development, in coordination with the National Food Authority, to buy palay from local farmers under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) rice subsidy program.

Under the measure, the government will buy palay from Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Nueva Ecija, Zamboanga del Sur and Iloilo.

If the President signs the bill, the government wil use the remaining 2019 allocation in the 4Ps rice subsidy funds to buy palay.

Under the 4Ps, beneficiaries receive a monthly rice subsidy of at least P600 per month.

The joint resolution also encouraged local governments to buy from Filipino farmers. 

With Marlon Purificacion