Comelec continues preps for barangay, SK polls

TWO men look for their names in the voters’ list at Iloilo Central Elementary School about two hours before polling precincts close on May 9, 2016. (Ricky D. Alejo/File)

THE Commission on Elections (COMELEC-6) continues with its preparations for the barangay and Sanguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on October 23, 2017 amid talks of postponement.

COMELEC-6 Regional Director Dennis Ausan said they will stick with the election schedule based on the existing law.

“The commission is a law enforcing agency. And if you ask me now, there is a law scheduling the barangay and SK elections come October 23. So our preparation is towards that,” Ausan said in a radio interview.

Earlier, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte pushed for the postponement of the barangay and SK polls and appointment of local officials as part of the campaign against illegal drugs, specifically narco-politics.

Ausan said the October polls are a go unless Congress passes a law postponing the elections.

He said the COMELEC Chairman Andres Bautista issued an advisory to Congress to decide early on the matter as the elections are just three months away.

“I just don’t know how fast they can decide as it also depends on the President. We are torn but we really have to proceed with the preparations,” he said.

Ausan added that the postponement would result in COMELEC incurring huge expenses.

“We are talking here of millions, if not hundreds of millions and then eventually it will be postponed. Ti kanugon katama,” he said.

The COMELEC regional office has finished conducting the voter’s registration on April 29, 2017. It has also projected the precincts which will host the registered voters as well as the areas and schools to be used.

“Once we have the data we can already proceed with the printing of ballots. The field personnel are already done with their preparations. And we also wait for the constitution of the board of election tellers,” Ausan said.

He added that they are awaiting further instructions so they could proceed with the training of teachers, who will render poll duties, in August or September.

Ausan clarified that the budget for pre-election activities comes from the COMELEC Central Office.

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