Comelec ready amid poll postponement
The poll body chair said that only P5 million out of the P8.4 billion budget for the Barangay and SK polls have been spent for voter registration
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday stressed that while it respects whatever decision Congress and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will make regarding the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, the poll body is ready to conduct the elections.
Comelec chairperson George Garcia is also assuring the public that funds will not be wasted in case the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections will be postponed this year, adding that it’s “all systems go” as they continue their preparations.
“The training of our top officials is ongoing for the purpose of preparations. Number two, we will now be conducting procurement of election paraphernalia,” Garcia said.
The poll body chair said that only P5 million out of the P8.4 billion budget for the Barangay and SK polls have been spent for voter registration and they have yet to spend money on the printing of official ballots and other election-related expenses.
“We are trying to spend money wisely because there’s the possibility that it will not push through. But just because the business of the election is always the business of the Comelec, we cannot act as if there’s no need to prepare anymore,” he added.
Garcia also said that holding the polls concurrently with national and local elections would only create “legal, procedural, and administrative problems” as many lawmakers have called for the SK and barangay polls to be postponed in order for the government to save money in the midst of rising prices.
“We could not hold the SK and barangay elections alongside the national and local elections which we do every three years because of the length of the ballot that we might have to use. The names of the senators down to the councilors would make a long list even during the midterm,” Garcia said.
He explained it will be dangerous for voters to have two official ballots as it might create confusion, as the Barangay and SK elections are being held manually, while the National and Local elections will require the immediate transmission of results.
The poll body reported that there are 2.9 million new registrants who will cast their votes for the 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections in December, adding to the total number of 65 million registered voters during the 2022 national and local elections.
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