MANILA, Philippines – More than one million Filipinos filed their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls, data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) showed.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in a press conference on Monday, April 23, said that this "shows the vibrancy of our democracy."
The Comelec said 1,070,991 Filipinos filed COCs for the barangay and SK elections as of Friday, April 20, a day before the end of the filing of COCs.
The Comelec has yet to provide reporters with a copy of the data as of Saturday, April 21, which was the last day of COC filing.
Of those who filed COCs, 684,785 candidates ran in the barangay elections, while 386,206 others ran for a position in the SK.
In a press conference on Monday, DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said their department is "very pleased with the results of the just-concluded filing of certificates of candidacy" for the barangay and SK elections.
Malaya explained that "there was some fear" last week that "there will be not enough candidates" who will file COCs particularly for the SK elections. "But the latest data we have collected from the Comelec have shown that more than one million candidates have filed."
For 'change in society'
Referring to the number of COC filers, Malaya said, "I do not know if this is a record number, but this really shows the vibrancy of our democracy, that there are a lot of people who have responded to the call of the government for change on the barangay level."
"Of course we all know that there can be no widespread change in our society if our barangay officials are not ready or able to perform the functions that have bestowed by law on them. So we are very thankful for the fact that a lot of our people have participated in the filing of candidacies, and have filed their certificates of candidacies, for barangay," he added.
The barangay is the basic political unit in the Philippines, which "serves as the primary planning and implementing unit of government policies, plans, programs, projects, and activities in the community, and as a forum wherein the collective views of the people may be expressed, crystallized and considered, and where disputes may be amicably settled," according to the Local Government Code.
Based on the same code, the Sangguniang Kabataan is a council that is supposed to initiate programs and fund-raising activities for the youth in the barangay, among other things. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.