By Ferdinand Patinio

Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco (Screengrab)

MANILA – The possible postponement of the December 2025 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) would give the Commission on Elections (Comelec) some breathing space as it also gears up for the midterm polls in May, an official said Wednesday.

“Sa isang banda po sa parte ng Comelec malaking kagaanan po ito kung ililipat kahit ilang buwan lang po sa 2026 ang BSKE dahil po sa ngayon na hindi pa kami tapos maghanda sa May elections kami po’y kasabay na naghahanda para sa BSKE (At one point, on the part of the Comelec, it would be a big relief for us if the BSKE would be reset to just a few months away in 2026 because right now, we are not yet finished preparing for the May elections and at the same time, we have to prepare for the BSKE),” Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said in a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing.

Laudiangco said the move would also give would-be voters more time to sign up for the electoral process.

“Isa pa pong epekto nito kung maghalalan tayo sa 2025, yung period po muli ng pagbubukas ng registration para sa SK at iba pa pong mag-qualify na botanteng Pilipino ay maaari maging maikli lamang siguro po mga sampung araw lamang ‘yan. Pero kung maililipat po ng 2026 ang halalan mas mahabang period ang maibibigay natin para makapag parehistro yun SK at mag-qualify na barangay voters na mga bago (Another effect is that if we push through with the polls in 2025, the registration period for the SK and other qualified Filipino voters would only be short, around 10 days. But if we move the polls to 2026, there would a be a longer registration period for SK voters and for those who are qualified to be new barangay voters),” he added.

The Comelec official, meanwhile, said they recognize the power of the executive and the legislature in enacting a law for the measure.

Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte filed House Bill 10344 seeking to move the village and youth polls to Oct. 26, 2026.

The Bicol lawmaker said moving the BSKE to a later date is necessary as the current village and youth officials shall have served only for two years, instead of three, if the polls push through next year.

The BSKE was last held in October 2023.

At the same time, the Comelec official reminded the public, especially the voters to scrutinize the list of candidates, that will be released by the poll body after the filing period for the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) has ended.

“We issue a certified list of candidates, which is posted in all Comelec offices. What is the purpose for this? To show to the people that they can start looking into the qualifications and the identities of the candidates who filed their COCs, whether they deserve to vote or not. This is also for those who would want to file a petition for cancellation of COC or disqualification against some candidates before the proper Comelec office,” Laudiangco said.

He also said the poll body would expedite the processing of election-related cases.

“An electronic filing mode of cases would also be made available. The earlier the case is filed, the earlier the resolution would be and by the time we print the ballots, the list of candidates is already clean,” he added. (PNA)