Comelec delays ballot printing for barangay, SK polls

Comelec delays ballot printing for barangay, SK polls

While still on track for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections this December, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has opted to reschedule the printing of ballots for the electoral exercise as it mulls rescheduling the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) set next month.

Comelec Chairman George Garcia said in a television interview that they have instructed the National Printing Office (NPO) to start yesterday the printing of ballots for the barangay and SK polls, but the agency is still fixing the ballot templates.

Garcia said the ballot printing will begin on Wednesday.

“We instructed the NPO to really start the printing of the ballots, of course they’re still fixing some of our ballot templates. But the instructions were there, given to them by the commission last week because our timetable has to be followed. Otherwise, we might run out of time,” Garcia said in mixed English and Filipino.

He said that they expect to finish the printing of ballots by Sept. 20.

Garcia reiterated that the ballots intended for the December 2022 barangay and SK polls will not be wasted if the elections will be postponed as he emphasized that they can still use these, which is what the Comelec did when the 2017 elections were postponed to 2018.

In a separate interview, Garcia said they are also studying the possibility of rescheduling the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) scheduled next month to shorten the campaign period should the barangay and SK polls push through.

The Comelec has scheduled the filing of COC from Oct. 6 to 13.

“Campaign period too long – almost 60 days. At most one week of resetting only,” Garcia said in a Viber message.

Garcia noted that they have spent more than P1 billion on preparations for the village and youth council elections, with another P1 billion bankrolled for the printing of ballots; around P3-billion procurement activities and around P300 million for training of teachers and their honoraria.

But he clarified that they have yet to pay their contractors even if they have already issued the notices of award to them.






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