CEBU, Philippines – Printing and sealing of election ballots have been moved to September 9 after Congress decided to have the next barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections will be in May 2018.
Cebu Provincial Elections Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said they were supposed to start the printing of ballots last Wednesday and the sealing of ballot boxes was scheduled on August 23.
“Supposed to be karon nang August 23, but was extended to September 9 maybe because of the sentiments of the House. We’re still awaiting the sentiments of the Senate, but the Comelec is proceeding with the preparation. Ang kuan lang ana, basin i-slow down siguro,” he told reporters.
He, however, said they already printed the list of voters, a preparation they have made earlier just in case Congress would have a different decision about the elections.
“We already printed the list of voters. Kung di madayon ang election, kana ray mausik – ang printing sa list of voters,” Castillano said, adding that Comelec does not want to spend much until such time that Congress gives its final decision about the elections.
Early this year, President Rodrigo Duterte said he wanted the elections postponed and that he would rather appoint persons qualified to become village officials.
Duterte said money that will be used during the campaign for the elections might come from illegal drugs.
Castillano urged the Congress to decide and immediately pass the law.
“We urge the Congress to pass their law immediately. Anyway, klaro na man nga gilalisan ra man gud ana is appointed ba or hold-over,” he said.
If the barangay elections will push through in May 2018, Castillano said the voting period will be convenient for the registered voters.
He said it would also give Comelec more time for preparation, although he assured that they have worked according to the schedule given by their national office.
“So, magdoble-doble na pud ang atong i-bidding ana. We’ll be bidding for the 2019 elections and the 2018 barangay elections. Anyway, maayo pud siguro na siya by that time, nga mag-election ta, mas maayo man gud ng May gud kay ang May dili ting-uwan. Walay klase so we could use the schools. Also…dili apektado ang on the part of the teachers,” he said.
Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III also said moving the barangay elections to May 2018 is a “better arrangement”. (FREEMAN)