Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. and fellow commissioners Elias Yusoph and Lucenito Tagle witness the remaining ballots printed for the May 2013 elections. The National Printing Office completed printing all 52 million ballots, three weeks ahead of the April 25 schedule for completion. Video by INQUIRER.net’s Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced Wednesday that it has finished printing all 52 million ballots for the May 2013 elections, three weeks ahead of schedule.
“Everything is in the implementation stage, all preparations are finished,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. told reporters in an interview.
“This is the evidence that we are ready for the 2013 elections,” he said.
The ballots were printed in the National Printing Office (NPO) office in Quezon City for all registered voters including the overseas absentee voters.
The printing was completed in just 57 days, three weeks earlier than the scheduled completion date on April 25.
“We saved about two weeks,” Brillantes said. “This should set the manner of printing by the NPO for all subsequent printings of all automated elections in the future,” he said.
Brillantes witnessed the printing of the last ballot in a closing ceremony at the NPO office in Quezon City Wednesday.
The completion of the printing of 52,333,801 ballots in 57 days was “record breaking” Brillantes said.
He gave the credit to the NPO saying “if there is no ballot there is no election [and the] NPO did all the work, we just supported them.”
“They kept their promise and even finished earlier,” Brillantes said.
Comelec was also able to save money when the bidded out the printing contract to Holy Family Inc.
“The bidding that was conducted by NPO [and awarded] to Holy Family was very reasonably priced and their performance was excellent [for] a very low price,” he said.
Bonus for workers
After the last ballot was printed, NPO workers chanted “bonus! bonus!” and Brillantes said they would consider giving extra pay given their excellent performance.
“[The Comelec en banc] can consider it, they did an excellent job. We will check if we have the extra budget for that,” he told reporters when asked if they really will give a bonus.
“We in the government cannot just give a bonus if it is not in the budget. But the bonus should go directly to the people; it will not be for the NPO,” he said.
The ballots are ready to be delivered to their respective places throughout the country where they will be used on Election Day on May 13.
Commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, and Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) head Henrietta De Villa also attended the event.
Brillantes expressed confidence during the first day of printing last February 4 that they will finish ahead of schedule.
He said that the three brand new Canon printers used have a higher printing capacity, up to a million ballots per day.
Originally posted at 11:15 am | Wednesday, April 3, 2013