The House of Representatives ratified Wednesday the reconciled bill seeking to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections from Dec. 5, 2022 to the first Monday of October 2023.

With both chambers of Congress ratifying the bicameral conference committee report, the measure would now be sent to Malacañang for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to sign into law.

The harmonized version of the bill provides that “there shall be a synchronized barangay and SK elections, which shall be held on the last Monday of October 2023 and every three years thereafter.”

The term of office of officials elected in the 2023 barangay and SK elections shall commence at noon of Nov. 30 following their election.

As a necessary consequence of the postponement, the measure contained a hold-over provision. It stated that “until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified, all incumbent barangay and SK official shall remain in office unless sooner removed or suspended for cause.”

Likewise, such officials serving as ex officio members of the Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang Panglungsod, or Sangguniang Panlalawigan shall continue to serve in such capacity until the next barangay and SK elections, unless removed in accordance with existing rules or for cause.

Funds necessary for the implementation of the law postponing the barangay and SK elections shall be taken from the appropriations of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or supplementary appropriations that Congress may subsequently approve. (PNA)