The Commission on Elections continues to prepare for the scheduled Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections amid proposal from the House of Representatives to postpone it for a few more months.
According to COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez, as far as they are concern, the election will push through as long as there is no signed legislation for its postponement.
Jimenez said that the COMELEC is still in the process of finishing the printing and distribution of 18 million additional ballots.
“The fact remains wala pa rin batas so itutuloy natin yung halalan. Patuloy din yung paghahanda natin.” Jimenez explained during DZRH’s One On One. “Tinatapos natin yung printing nung mga additional ballots natin. We need to print about 18 million additional ballots.”
Jimenez assured the public that the May elections will push through and will go on smoothly since they have been preparing for its since 2016.
“We have been preparing for this since 2016.” Jimenez said. “We expect that itong darating na May elections natin will be very smooth and well-run.”
Last March 12, the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms decided to approve the postponement and rescheduling of the elections to October.
However, senators doubt that the local elections will once again be postponed since the Senate has no counterpart of the said bill and Congress is set to have their holy week break starting next week.
Meanwhile, Jimenez was quick to rebuke claims that the COMELEC is only active whenever there is an election, since the poll body continues to accept new registered voters.
“Tandaan natin kapag walang halalan, meron tayon voter registration.” Jimenez insisted. “Tuloy-tuloy ang pasok ng mga tao sa listahan natin. Tuloy-tuloy ang pagpapatala nila. Talagang nagtratrabaho din naman tayo.”
While in the issue of flying voters, Jimenez said that they will post the names of registrants so that the public can verify and file complaints that will be heard by the Election Registration Board.
The election official also added that people can also file a petition for exclusion in the court to remove names from the list of voters.
“Nagpapaskil tayo ng mga pangalan ng aplikante para makita ng lahat ng tao at makapag-bigay sila komento.” Jimenez further added. “Yung Election Registration Board na dumidinig ng mga reklamo.”
Jimenez also explained that they will distribute the list of new voters to non-government agencies and accredited citizens arms in order to validate the details submitted by the applicant.
“Pinapamahagi pa natin sa mga NGOs at mga accredited citizens arm yung listahan ng botante na-approve na namin para ma-verify kung talagang tamang address ang binigay nila, kung talagang hindi sila flying voters or potential flying voters.” Jimenez claimed.