MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to start printing on Thursday the ballots to be used for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls even if the Senate and House of Representatives have passed bills postponing the elections from Dec. 5 this year to December next year.
The nearly 92 million ballots that will be printed by the National Printing Office (NPO) in the next four weeks would be stored in the NPO warehouse until the holding of the barangay and SK elections (BSKE), according to Comelec Chair George Garcia.
“I will go to the NPO tomorrow (Sept. 29) to oversee the placement of the secret marking [on the ballots] and then we will start the printing,” Garcia said in a media interview on Wednesday.
“We cannot further delay the printing of the ballots because the printing process will take one month with 3 million ballots to be printed per day,” he added.
The ballot printing was supposed to start a week ago, but the Comelec and the NPO revised their memorandum of agreement to include an additional security feature on the ballots and the warehousing services.
Garcia said the Comelec will continue with its preparations for the Dec. 5 barangay and SK elections even if the Senate and House of Representatives have passed their respective bills postponing the elections.
“Enacting a new law to move the BSKE to a new date would still take quite a considerable time from now,” he said, pointing out that the bills still have to be reconciled in a bicameral conference committee and the final version signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. into law.