13 M bal­lots printed for barangay, SK polls

The Philippine Star - - NATION - By SHEILA CRISOSTOMO

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.

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