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Mayor Isko wants Dec. 5 bgy elections postponed; says budget be better used for ayuda, basic needs

CABIAO, Nueva Ecija – Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso said Thursday he is in favor of postponing the Dec. 5, 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections so that funds allocated for the purpose could be used as “ayuda” or aid to millions of Filipinos affected by the continuous hike in oil prices due to the Russo-Ukraine conflict.

“Huwag na munang ituloy yung barangay elections this year. Kakatapos lang ng national elections sa May. Tapos another election for barangay officials in December. Better to use the allocated money for ayuda and other urgent needs of the people in these difficult times,” Moreno said in an interview after a town hall meeting with more than a thousand residents of this town composed mostly of farmers, public transport drivers and ordinary folks.

In 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11462, or the postponement of the May 2020 barangay and SK elections to December 2022. Under the law, village elections after the December 2022 vote will subsequently take place on the first Monday of December 2025 and every three years thereafter.

As early as November last year, House Bill 10425 seeking to postpone the Dec. 5, 2022 to May 6, 2024 has been filed at the House of Representatives by Davao Oriental Rep. Joel Almario. About P8 billion has been allocated in the national budget for the barangay elections.

“As I have said, maghahanap tayo ng paraan kung paano maitatawid ang taong bayan. And one of those is money or resources. So, kung ako ang tatanungin, extend muna natin yoong barangay election by another year, or a year and a half, nang yung perang gagamitin natin sa eleksyon, magamit natin para ipang-ayuda sa tao, magamit natin para ipang-ayuda sa tao, katulad nung gasolina, or ipang-ayuda sa pagkain, or ipambili natin ng ferltilizer at ipamahagi sa magsasaka,” Moreno told reporters.

“So, yung perang gagamitin sa eleksyon para sa barangay, I’d rather spend it na pakinabanagn muna ng tao at maitawid natin sila. Kaya yung barangay election, hopefully, ma-cancel muna, extend muna natin ng about a year or about a year and a half,” said Moreno.

The 47-year-old presidential candidate also urged the country’s economic managers to find ways in providing immediate relief for our people on account of the continuing economic crisis exacerbated by the Russo-Ukraine conflict, which will impact on prices not only of oil but also food and push inflation beyond public endurance.

“Our economic managers should look at these problems with the same ‘malasakit’ that President Duterte has shown in the past five years that as the country’s chief executive,” Moreno said.

Five months ago, Moreno was like a “voice in the wilderness” when he appealed for the national government to cut by 50 percent the excise taxes on oil and electricity because of hardships being experienced by the everyone, particularly the ordinary people who are most affected by the lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That was even before the Russo-Ukraine conflict erupted.

Moreno’s running mate, Dr. Willie Ong, asked the people to keep praying that the Russo-Ukraine conflict will soon end and hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin will not escalate the conflict that has not only caused death and destruction but also the displacement of some 2 million refugees.

“Maraming issues sa mga bilihin. Ang Covid maliit na bagay lang kumpara sa posibleng nuclear war sa Ukraine. Basahin nyo, ipagdasal natin na hindi matuloy ito. Every 3 o’clock magdasal na lang tayo. Yan lang ang magagawa natin at sana pakinggan ni President Duterte yung suggestion ko sa nuclear emergency. Hindi ito pulitika eh, buhay eto eh. Matagal ko na itong inaaral, kaya ko tong sa tulong syempre ni Mayor Isko Moreno,” Ong said.

Moreno, his vice presidential candidate Doc Willie, Aksyon Demokratiko senatorial bets Dr. Carl Balita, Samira Gutoc and Jopet Sison along with guest senatorial candidate John Castriciones are on a two-day sortie in Nueva Ecija province.

After a town hall meeting here in Cabiao town, Team Isko’s motorcade proceeded to the towns of San Isidro, Gapan and San Leonardo where thousands of Novo Ecijanos line up the streets to personally see and touch the hand of Moreno.

Moreno suffered cuts and bruises in his arm and hands as people jostled beside his float to touch him, shake his hands in overflowing endearment.

The former basurero who became a Manila councilor, Manila vice mayor and mayor would stop the motorcade a number of times whenever he sees an elderly or disabled person in the crowd. He will then step down the float to comfort these people like what he did in previous motorcades. (TSJ)


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