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[ PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 229[*], June 28, 1973 ]


WHEREAS, Presidential Decree No. 210, dated June 8, 1973 provides for a system of registration for members of barangays (Citizens Assemblies); and

WHEREAS, the collective views of the members of barangays (Citizens Assemblies) should be ascertained with accuracy so that their decisions on national or local issues be given effect;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21 1972, and General Order No. 1, dated September 22, 1972, do hereby order and decree to be part of the laws of the land the following:

SECTION 1. Supervision of the Commission on Elections. — The Commission on Elections shall, in addition to the powers and functions conferred upon it by the constitution, exercise supervision and control over the conduct of voting and canvass of vote referendums and/or other consultations in barangays (Citizens Assemblies) and shall exercise and perform such other powers and functions as may be necessary to implement this Decree.

SEC. 2. General meeting of barangay members. — Whenever a period has been fixed or the holding of a referendum and/or consultation during which the members of baragays(Citizens Assemblies) decide and vote on issues, national and local, the barrio captain or baragay head shall immediately call a general meeting to all the members of the baragay for the purpose of informing them of the date and dates of the referendum and/or consultation, the places of voting and the issue or issues to be resolved.

During this general meeting, there shall be full and constructive discussions and exchange of views on the issue or issues to be resolved among the members of the baragays.

The barrio captain or barangay head may, in his discretion, call as many meetings as may be necessary for the purpose.

SEC. 3. baragay referendum committee. — Not later than ten days before the day of the voting, the Commission on Election shall appoint a baragay referendum committee for each barrio or baragay to conduct the voting and count the votes cast herein. The committee shall be composed of a representative of the Commission on Elections who shall act as chairman, a member of the barrio or baragay council, and a public schoolteacher in the barrio or baragay.

In case of non-availability or absence of any of those enumerated in the preceding paragraph, the Commission may appoint as substitute any registered member of the barrio or baragay.

Public schoolteachers who are appointed members of the barangay referendum committee may vote in the barangay center where they are assigned on the day of voting

SEC. 4. Designation of barangay center. — Not later than ten days before the day of voting, the Commission on Elections shall designate a barangay center or centers for each barrio or barangay which shall preferably be the barrio hall or any public building whet members of the barangay can cast their votes: Provided, That in barrios or barangays where there are more than six hundred registered members, the Commission may authorize the establishment of as many barangay centers for voting purposes in order to facilitate the casting and counting of votes.

SEC. 5. Observers. — The Commission on Elections may designate in each barangay center not more than five observers, who are members of the barangay. The observers shall have the following powers and duties:

  1. To call the attention of the chairman of the barangay referendum committee on any irregularity committed during the referendum.
  2. To report to the election registrar any irregularity committed by the barangay referendum committee.
  3. To assist the barangay referendum committee in ensuring the orderly conduct of voting in the barangay center whenever so directed by the chairman of the committee.

SEC. 6. Who may vote. — Every registered member of the barangay who, on the day of the referendum personally appears before the barangay referendum committee shall be entitled to cast his vote.

Any person whose name has been omitted, for any reason, in the barangay list (Barangay Form No. 2), shall, upon presentation of his barangay registration record, or upon showing that his name is included in the list used in the January 1973 referendum or in the permanent list of voters of the city., municipality or municipal district pursuant to the Election Code of 1971, shall be allowed to vote.

SEC. 7. Official barangay ballots. — The official ballots shall be of uniform size and color throughout the Philippines and shall he provided at public expense. Said ballots shall be in the shape of a strip with stubs and coupons containing detachable numbers of the ballots and a space for the thumbmark of the voter, and shall bear at the top on the middle portion thereof the coat of arms of the Republic of the Philippines, the words "Barangay Ballot," and the date of the voting, and the following note: "Fill out this ballot secretly inside the booth. Do not put any distinctive mark in any part of this ballot," and the question or questions to be submitted for the determination of the people.

The ballots shall be bound in separate books of two hundred ballots each. There shall not be anything printed on the reverse side of the ballot.

Ballots in cities, municipalities, and municipal districts where Arabic is of general use, shall have translations of the question or questions printed in Arabic in addition to and immediately below the English text.

SEC. 8. Casting of votes. — Voting shall be by secret ballot which shall be conducted in the barangay center designated by the Commission. It shall start promptly at seven o'clock in the morning and close at six o'clock in the afternoon.

Each voter shall have the right to vote in the order of his entrance to the barangay center, identifying himself to the barangay referendum committee, who will check his name against the barangay list.

All disputes as to procedure before and during the voting shall be decided by the barangay referendum committee by majority vote.

SEC. 9. Ballot Boxes. — There shall be two ballot boxes for every barangay center. One ballot box shall contain the ballots of voters fifteen years of age and under eighteen, and the second box for ballots of voters eighteen years of age and above.

SEC. 10. Manner of obtaining and preparing the ballot. — The voter shall approach the chairman of the barangay referendum committee and shall give his name and address together with other data concerning his person. If he is entitled to vote in accordance with Section six hereof, the chairman shall announce his name distinctly and loud enough to be heard clearly throughout the barangay center. The chairman shall then deliver to the voter one ballot correctly folded and require the voter to sign his name in the proper column in the record of voters prescribed by the Commission. The voter shall forthwith go to a vacant voting booth and prepare his ballot in secret. After the voter has filled his ballot he shall fold it in the same manner as when he received it and affix his thumbmark on the corresponding space in the coupon, and deliver the folded ballot to the chairman. The chairman, in the presence and in the view of the voter and all the members of the committee, without unfolding the ballot, shall remove the coupon and shall deposit the folded ballot, in the compartment for barangay ballots and the detached coupon in the compartment therefor of the proper ballot box as prescribed under Section 9 hereof.

SEC. 11. Preparation of ballot for illiterate or disabled person. —A registered voter who is illiterate or physically unable to prepare the ballot by himself may choose a person of his confidence to assist him in the preparation of his ballot, preferebly a relative by affinity or consanguinity within the fourth civil degree. The person thus chosen shall prepare the ballot for the illiterate or disabled voter inside the voting booth. The person assisting shall bind himself in a formal document to be prescribed by the Commission, not to reveal the contents of the ballot prepared by him.

SEC. 12. Closing of voting. — The casting of vote shall stop promptly at six o'clock in the afternoon except when there are barangay members present within 30 meters in front of the barangay center waiting to cast their votes, in which case the voting shall continue only as long as it takes these votes without interruption.

As soon as all the voters in the barangay center entitled to vote have cast their votes, the chairman shall formally announce to the public that the voting in the center is closed.

SEC. 13. Manner of counting the votes. — The ballots contained in the ballot box for voters fifteen years of age and under eighteen shall be counted ahead of the ballot box containing the ballots of voters eighteen years and above. The counting of votes shall be made in the following manner: The committee shall form separate piles of two hundred ballot fully extended which shall be held together with rubber bands. The Chairman of Committee shall take the ballots of the first file one by one and read the votes in the order in which they appear thereon, assuming such a position as would unable all or at least a majority of the observers to read such votes. The other member of the committee shall record on the proper tally sheet the affirmative and negative votes as they are read. Each vote shall be recorded by a vertical line except every fifth vote which shall be recorded by a diagonal line crossing the previous four vertical lines. The Third member of the committee shall watch the preparation of the tally sheet. After all the votes casts by those fifteen years of age and under eighteen have been counted, the committee shall sum up the totals recorded for affirmative and negative votes and the aggregate sum shall be recorded on the tally sheet.

The same procedure prescribed in the preceding paragraph shall be followed in the of the case of the votes cast by those who are eighteen years of age and above.

SEC. 14. Referendum results. — Immediately after the count, the barangay referendum committee shall prepare and certify in a form to be prescribed by the Commission on Elections two copies of the referendum results showing the voting in the barrio or barangay. The result shall indicate the date of the voting, the name of the barrio or barangay and the city, municipality or municipal district and province where the barrio or barangay is situated, the number of members of the barangay, the number of members who voted the total number of affirmative votes cast and the total number of negative votes cast for each issue submitted to the members of the barangay, writing out said numbers in words and in figures. Each copy of the results shall be enclosed in a special envelope provided for the purpose and shall be distributed as follows: The original shall be transmitted to the Commission on Elections in the manner it may direct and the second copy shall be kept on file by the barrio captain or barangay head.

It is understood that the referendum results will be separately prepared for each of the age groupings in accordance with Section 9 hereof.

SEC. 15. Canvass by the Commission on Elections. — On the day of the voting, the Commission on Elections shall convene en bane to canvass the referendum results certified by the barangay election committee of each barrio or barangay and, on the basis of said canvass, proclaim the result thereof.

In case there are referendum results which are missing and the votes therein will not affect the result of the voting, the Commission on Elections may terminate the canvass and proclaim the result of the voting on the basis of the available referendum results.

SEC. 16. Postponement of referendum. — When for any serious cause such as calamities, floods, or other force majeure, violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of referendum paraphernalia or records, and other analogous causes of such a nature that the holding of a referendum becomes impossible in any barangay center or political division or subdivisions, the Commission on Elections, upon verified petition and after due notice and hearing, shall postpone the referendum therein to such time as it may deem necessary, but on a date reasonably close to the date of the referendum not held or suspended.

SEC. 17. Prohibited acts. — The following shall be guilty of an offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than one month nor more than six months:

  1. Any foreigner who shall aid, directly or indirectly, or take part in or influence in any manner the outcome of any referendum or shall contribute or make any expenditure in connection therewith;
  2. Any voter or any other person who gives or accepts free of charge, directly or indirectly, transportation, food, or drinks during a public meeting and during the three hours before and after such meeting, on the day preceding the referendum and on the day of the referendum; or who gives or contributes, directly or indirectly, money or things of value for such purposes;
  3. Any person who solicits votes or undertakes any propaganda on the day of the referendum for or against any issue within the barangay center and within a radius of thirty meters thereof;
  4. Any public officer, or officer of any commercial, industrial, agricultural, economic or social enterprise, private corporation or association, or any employer, who coerces or intimidates or compels directly or indirectly, any of his subordinates or employees, to aid, campaign or vote for or against any issue in any referendum;
  5. Any officer, member or employee of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or any member thereof without specific authority to assist the Commission in maintaining a free, orderly and honest referendum, or any member of a police force who shall influence in any manner any referendum or take part therein, except to vote if entitled thereto or to preserve public order, if he is a peace officer;
  6. f) Any person who, without authority, prints or causes the printing of any barangay ballot that appears as official ballot; or who distributes or causes the same to be distributed to be used in the referendum, whether or not they are actually used;
  7. g) Any person who, without authority, keeps, uses or carries out or causes to be kept, used or carried out, any official ballot or printed proof thereof, type-form mould, electrotype printing plates and any other plates, numbering machines and other printing paraphernalia being used in connection with the printing of official ballots;
  8. h) Any official or employee of any printing establishment or of the Commission or any member of the committee in charge of the printing of official ballots who causes official ballots to be printed in quantities exceeding those authorized by

    the Commission or who distributes, delivers, or in any manner disposes or causes to be distributed, delivered, or disposed of, any official ballots to any person or persons not authorized by law or by the Commission to receive or keep official ballots or who sends or causes them to be sent to any place not designated by law or by the Commission;

  9. Any person who opens the package of any pad or official ballots before the hour fixed for the start of the voting in the barrio or barangay center on referendum day;
  10. Any person who, being a registered voter of the barrio or barangay fails to cast his vote without justifiable excuse;
  11. Any person who votes more than once in the same referendum;
  12. Any person who votes in substitution for another whether with or without the latter's knowledge and/or consent;
  13. Any person who avails himself of any scheme to discover the contents of the ballot of a voter who is preparing or casting his vote or who has just voted, except as otherwise authorized in this Decree;
  14. Any voter, who in the course of voting, uses a ballot other than the one given by the barangay election committee or who has in his possession more than one official ballot;
  15. Any person who places under arrest or detains a voter without lawful cause, or molests him in such a manner as to obstruct or prevent him from going to the barangay center to cast his vote or from returning home after casting his vote or to compel him to reveal how he voted;
  16. Any member of the barangay election committee charged with the duty of reading the ballots during the counting of votes who deliberately omits to read the vote duly written on the ballot, or misreads the vote actually written thereon or reads a vote where no vote is written on the ballot;
  17. Any person who, without authority, acts as, or assumes or performs any function of, a member of the barangay election committee, or deputy or representative of the Commission;
  18. Any person who, in the presence or within the hearing of the barangay election committee during any of its meeting, conducts himself in a disorderly manner in such a way as to interrupt or disrupt its work or proceedings to the end of preventing said body from performing its functions, either partly or totally;
  19. Any person who, for the purpose of disrupting or obstructing referendum processes or causing confusion among the voters propagates false and alarming reports or information regarding any matter related to the printing of the official ballots, the postponement of referendums, and the transfer of barangay centers;
  20. Any person who, without or against the lawful order of the Commission, holds or causes the holding of a referendum on a day other than that fixed by law or by the Commission, or stops a referendum being legally held, or who holds a referendum not legally authorized;
  21. Any person who, without legal authority, destroys, or takes away from the possession of those having legal custody thereof, or from the place where they are legally deposited, any ballot box which contains official ballots or other documents used in the referendum or any referendum results;
  22. Any person having legal custody of the ballot box containing the official ballots used in the referendum who opens or destroys said box or removes or destroys its contents without or against the order of the Commission; or who tampers with the same or any of its contents; or who through commission or negligence enables any person to commit any of the aforementioned acts, or take away said ballot box from his custody;
  23. Any public official or any person acting in his behalf, who relieves any member of the barangay referendum committee or who changes or causes the change of the assignment of members of said committee without authority of the Commission;
  24. Any member of the barangay referendum committee who knowingly uses ballots other than the official ballots, except in those cases where the use of emergency ballots is authorized by the Commission;
  25. Any provincial, city, municipal and municipal district treasurer who neglects or fails to properly preserve and account for any ballot box, documents, forms and other referendum supplies and materials received by him and kept under his custody; and
  26. Any person who reveals the contents of any ballot in violation of Section 10 of this Decree.

SEC. 18. Jurisdiction of court. — The municipal or city courts as the case may be shall have jurisdiction over all the offenses punishable under this Decree, subject to appeal to the court of first instance the decision of which shall be final.

SEC. 19. Prosecution of offenses. — The Commission on Elections shall, through its duly authorized legal officers, have the power to conduct preliminary investigation of all election offenses punishable by this Decree and to prosecute the same.

SEC. 20. Promulgation of rules and regulations. — The Commission on Elections shall promulgate such rules and regulations and prescribe such forms necessary to carry out the provisions of this Decree.

The Commission on Elections may procure any supplies, materials or services needed for the holding of the referendum either by negotiation or through sealed quotations if it finds the requirements of public bidding impracticable to observe.

The Commission may hire under contractual basis the services of personnel if this method is found to be more expedient and economical.

If upon the effectivity of this Decree, it should no longer reasonably be possible to observe the periods and dates herein prescribed, the Commission on Elections shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the same.

SEC. 21. Repealing clause. — All laws, executive orders, decrees, rules and regulations, or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

SEC. 22. Appropriations. — The sum of Four Million Five Hundred Thousand Pesos is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated to be spent under the exclusive authority of the Commission on Elections to carry out the purposes of this Decree.

SEC. 23. Effectivity. — This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 28th day of June, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-three.


Republic of the Philippines



By the President:  

  Assistant Executive Secretary

[*] Amended by Presidential Decree Nos. 249 and 253.
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