DILG Sets Guidelines for the Election of Liga ng mga Barangay Chapters

by Luisito G. Panelo 

     The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently issued the guidelines for the election of officials of the Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB) chapters and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) federation at the municipal, city, provincial and national levels scheduled on December this year and January next year.

      The election guidelines were contained in two separate directives – memorandum Circulars Nos. 2007-150 for the conduct of SK Federation elections, and 2007-151 for the election of LnB chapter officers – issued by Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo V. Puno.

       Puno said the Liga ng mga Barangay and SK federation elections shall be participated in by barangay and SK officials elected or re-elected during the last October 29, 2007 barangay elections, and who will assume their respective positions at noon of November 30, this year.

       Citing Section 3 of RA 9340, the DILG secretary said the Liga ng mga Barangay at the municipal, city and provincial levels shall, within thirty (30) days after the next barangay election, conduct elections for ex-officio positions in the sanggunians under the supervision of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

       He also explained that Chapter 9, Book III of the Local Government Code of 1991 provides for an organization of all the Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan at all levels, which shall elect from among themselves the president, vice president and other officers as may be necessary.

      Under the guidelines, the SK, synchronized federation elections are scheduled on December 6, 2007, for the municipal and city federations; December 17, 2007, for the provincial and metropolitan federations; and January 17, 2008 for the national federation.

       On the other hand, the Liga ng mga Barangay elections are scheduled on December 11, 2007, for the municipal and component city Chapters; December 29, 2007, for the provincial, metropolitan, highly urbanized and independent component cities chapters; and January 29, 2008, for the national chapter.  

      For the Liga ng mga Barangay elections, there shall be a board of election supervisors at all levels to be chaired by the DILG officer with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) representative, NGO/PO representative, as members.

       According to the guidelines, the DILG shall supervise the conduct of the local LnB chapter elections, extend support, when necessary, in sending notice of the date, time and venue of the chapter elections, and secure, for the use of the Liga, the needed ballot box, portable voting booths and writing board from the treasurer of the city, municipality or province where election is to be held, or if necessary, any adequate paraphernalia for the purpose.

       The DILG shall also provide assistance, upon request of the National Liga or chapter concerned, in arranging a suitable change of venue for the conduct of the elections of a particular Liga Chapter or level.

       As this developed, Puno ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to extend the necessary assistance to ensure the orderly conduct of the elections even as he directed field officials of the Department to extend technical assistance to the outgoing LnB and SK federation officials.

       “We are optimistic that our SK and barangay officials will be guided properly by the guidelines to ensure a smooth and systematic election of officials of their respective organizations”, Puno said.      

       For more details regarding the guidelines, interested parties may browse the DILG website at http://www.dilg.gov.ph and click Advisory located on the left column of the web page.