Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. on Monday, February 26, made it clear that barangay officials should be elected by the people.
He warned the public that the Palace did not give any permission to any individuals or groups to nominate nor receive applications from people who would want to become barangay officials.
“Wala pong sinong tao o grupo na binigyan ng otoridad ng Malacañang para mangako na pupwede silang umupo bilang barangay captain. Wala pong ganyan,” Roque said in his regular press briefing in Malacañang.
“Sa ngayon po ang batas natin ay nagsasabi na ang mga barangay officials, barangay captains ay halal po ng taong-bayan. So hanggang magkaroon po ng batas na sila po’y i-a-appoint na lamang, kinakailangan po ihalal pa rin sila ng taong-bayan. Premature po para kahit kanino na magsabi na magkakaroon ng appointment ng barangay captains,” he explained.
As for the postponement of the coming barangay election in May, Roque said it would push through as per Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.
The Palace spokesperson recalled that Senator Pimentel said in a forum that there is no consensus in the Senate to defer the barangay elections.
“(L)ast Friday, I was in one forum together with Senate President Pimentel and he declared in an audience of about 4,000 members of the Liga ng Barangay of Leyte that the barangay elections would push through,” Roque said.
“I’m just surprised that it is coming from a minority senator. Normally, it’s the minority senator that will insist that elections will push through. But it was actually Senate President himself who informed the audience to prepare for barangay elections in May,” he added.
‘Palace reminds LGUs to protect the environment’
In the same press briefing, the Palace spokesperson said that President Rodrigo Duterte gave a directive to all local government units (LGUs) to safeguard the environment.
He recalled that the President was “emphatic” during the last Cabinet meeting when he reminded LGUs they would incur criminal liability for “malfeasance” and “misfeasance” for their failure to protect the natural environment.
As for Boracay, Roque said the President did not actually mention its closure. The Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), however, was given 60 days to come up with the recommendations on what to do with Boracay.
In another development, the Palace spokesperson announced that the New Bohol Airport is on track for completion by June and will start commercial operations by August this year.
Dubbed as the Philippines’ first eco-airport, the P7.8-billion project is expected to accommodate 2-million passengers in its opening year alone.
“Governor Edgar Chatto (of Bohol) assured me that, unlike the case of Boracay, the local government units of Bohol are always on guard in implementing environmental rules and regulations, and that what he specifically asked is for national agencies, such as the EMB (Environmental Management Bureau) and DENR, to coordinate with the local government units so that they know what it is exactly that is expected of the LGUs to implement,” Roque said. ### PCO-Content