13 M ballots printed for barangay, SK polls
As President Duterte has yet to sign the law postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started printing the official ballots.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body spent P30 million to print 13 million ballots of the total 77.2 million to be used in the elections.
Jimenez said additional expenses have also been incurred for the training of board of election tellers and board of canvassers.
He said they are preparing to refurbish the ballot boxes and print other documents.
Jimenez said the poll body is not not slowing down in its preparations even as Congress moves closer to approving the measure postponing the elections on Oct. 23.
Last week, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a consolidated bill resetting the elections to the second Monday of May next year. The Senate committee on electoral reforms approved a bill postponing the elections to October next year and allowing President Duterte to appoint officers-in-charge to replace barangay officials on the drug watchlist.
Jimenez said there is no basis to say the elections will not push through until the President signs the law.
“I think it is more prudent to continue (with the preparations) and later on find a way to mitigate the expenses,” Jimenez said.
He said not all ballots could be used if ever the elections are postponed.
“I don’t know what will happen in the storage. That’s P30 million ballots. I doubt it will be 100 percent (available if elections are postponed),” Jimenez said.
The President wants to postpone the elections as he expressed concern drug lords would fund candidates.