HomeGood Balita‌Inside the Upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections

‌Inside the Upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections

Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections
Millions of Filipinos are about to cast their votes for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections this October 2023. PNA photo.

‌The Philippines’ Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) are right around the corner. Two months from now, on October 30, 2023, voters will be lining up at the polls to elect their new community leaders.

Which leadership posts will be filled this BSKE 2023? What are the functions of these positions that should be met by those running for these elective positions? What can the nearly 92 million registered Filipino voters expect from the newly elected officials of government? Read on to find out what’s at stake in these upcoming elections.


Barangays are the basic political units in the Philippines. They need to have a population of at least 2,000 residents for provincial areas or 5,000 residents for urban areas. Every barangay has a barangay captain (punong barangay) alongside seven barangay council (sangguniang barangay) members (kagawad), all of whom are elected.

‌The barangay captain acts as the chief executive of the area, similar to how a president acts as the chief executive of a country. The captain will enforce the laws and ordinances of the barangay, maintain public order, oversee the legislative sessions of the barangay council, approve the disbursement of barangay funds, ensure the delivery of basic services, and more. The captain further appoints a barangay secretary and treasurer to assist in barangay activities.

On the other hand, the barangay council serves as the legislative body of the area – much like Congress serves as the legislative arm of the Philippines. Their main purpose is to enact ordinances within the barangay, with the barangay captain as their presiding officer. These ordinances revolve around budgets, taxes, construction of facilities and public works projects, etc. They can also conduct fund-raising projects, act as peace officers throughout the barangay, organize community brigades, and the like.

Sangguniang Kabataan

Barangays also must have a youth council called the sangguniang kabataan (SK) composed of a chairman and seven members (kagawad). The positions are meant to increase the youth’s participation and empowerment within the barangay. Uniquely, SK officials do not have to be 18 to run for office; they must be at least 15 to 21 years old.

‌The sangguniang kabataan is expected to craft resolutions for the barangay’s youth, create projects for youth development, hold dialogue with barangay youth organizations, and correspond with national bodies to implement youth development programs, among others.

The SK chairman is in charge of implementing local policies and programs, supervising SK activities, presiding over the SK meetings, and appointing a secretary and a treasurer. He is also a member of the barangay council alongside the seven elected barangay council members.



Key dates to remember:

  • The barangay and SK elections are scheduled on October 30, 2023.
  • Aspiring officials should file their certificates of candidacy from August 28 to September 2.
  • Candidates will kickstart their campaigns from October 19 to 29.

Though these elections should be held every three years, the BSKE has been delayed several times; it was initially supposed to be held in May 2020. Since then, the incumbent barangay and SK politicians have remained in their seats. The latest postponement of the BSKE moved it from December 5, 2022, to October 30, 2023, with government officials reasoning that the deferment would allocate extra funds for pandemic recovery. The Supreme Court has since proclaimed this unconstitutional on the grounds that it “violates the freedom of suffrage”, as stated in the Court’s ruling. However, the election will proceed on October 30.‌

Voter registration for the upcoming BSKE ended on January 31, 2023. According to COMELEC, there are about 92 million registered voters for the election.

The barangay and SK elections present an opportunity for voters to engage in bottom-up processes and initiatives in their local communities. Citizens are encouraged to stay tuned for the list of candidates in their respective barangays and participate in the elections come October.

‌Many barangays have previously initiated progressive policies for their residents. In 2020, barangay captains from Batangas and Marikina took on innovative methods to provide medical supplies to their citizenry. In 2021, Apo Island in Negros Oriental was hailed as the first island barangay in the Philippines to adopt zero-waste practices.‌

SHARE this story for Filipinos to be updated about the upcoming local barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections.

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Summer Sanares
Summer Sanares
Summer is a political science student with a twin passion for journalism. Her hobbies include watching geography documentaries, searching the metro for plant-based food, and free-falling through Wikipedia rabbit holes. Her works have previously been featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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