Barangay, SK elections preparations push through

The Commission on Elections on Thursday said that they will continue with their preparations for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections amid its impending postponement following President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s signing of the law.

Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia said they will still push through with the ballot printing, awarding of contracts and procurement of resources related to the polls, arguing that the poll body has to be ready even with the enactment of the law.

“The Supreme Court can always say about the legality and the constitutionality of this law. What if, in any event, for the sake of argument, the Supreme Court will say otherwise, and the Comelec is not prepared?” Garcia said.

The poll body chief also guaranteed the public that existing resources such as the five million ballot papers that have already been printed for the supposed December polls will not go to waste.

However, the Comelec said that they will halt the printing of ballots for a week to change the templates that should reflect the actual day of the polls which is now scheduled on the last Monday of October next year.

Other election-related resources will be stored in their warehouse and bans and prohibitions during the election period will also be lifted.

Meantime, the poll body that they will also continue with the registration of eligible voters for both regular and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, as well as for those who want to reactivate their voter status.

Comelec spokesperson Atty. John Rex Laudiangco reminded the public that those who will reach the age of eligibility come 30 October next year could already register to vote.

Part of the resumption of their voter registration activities is the pilot-testing of what is called the “Register Anywhere” system that seeks to open registration booths inside malls.

Garcia opened up about opening registration booths not just inside malls, but also in government agencies and other private establishments.

This system will be first implemented within the National Capital Region, but could expand outside the region if proven successful.

The poll body is expecting three to five million more voters to register from November to May next year, but said that filed registrations will still be deliberated until October next year for them to clean their voter database.

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