MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte urged the members of the Congress to postpone the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
“Congress has to postpone Barangay and SK elections to 2022,” he said in his fourth State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
If ever Congress will heed the request of Duterte, it will not be the first time for the barangay polls to be postpone as it happened before when the scheduled October 2016 polls was delayed to May, 2018.
“Because if you read it, this is to rectify the truncated term. Paiba-iba na. The truncated terms of sitting barangay (officials) but also provide them with the ample time to finish their programs and projects,” Duterte said.
Apart from the postponement of the polls, Duterte also urged Congress to pass a new Salary Standardization Law that will cover the pay increases of government employees including teachers and nurses.
“To the teachers, alam mo dito… who toil and work tirelessly to educate our young, kasali na po dito ‘yung hinihingi ninyo,” Duterte said. “Hindi naman masyadong malaki (the salary increase), pero it will tide you over during these hard times.”
Also during the SONA, Duterte said that he intends to hasten the establishment of the government agency that would handle disaster issues in the country.
“Disasters are poverty creators that is why we have to hasten the establishment of the Department of Disaster Resilience so that this department focus on natural hazards and climate change,” Duterte said.
Other measures Duterte have urged the Congress to approve during the 18th Congress were those that will address water shortage, fire protection, and land use issues in the country.
The establishment of a Department of Water Resources and a Water Regulatory Commission could address the water crisis that gripped Metro Manila earlier this year, the President said.
Apart from this, Duterte also called on Congress to pass a law mandating a fire protection modernization program as he said that, in Davao City, emergency response programs were of topnotch quality.
“We have to do better than this. There are other cities that are utterly without the tools to respond the challenges of fire. At this age it would be a shame if you cannot put out a fire in two days, three days,” Duterte said./PN