Comelec chair: Full automation of Barangay, SK polls ‘unlikely at this point’
MANILA, Philippines — Full automation of Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) is unlikely at this point, Commission on Elections chairman George Erwin Garcia said on Thursday.
Garcia was reacting to Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, Jr.’s resolution to study the possibility of automating the October 30, 2023 village and youth council elections.
“To fully automate is unlikely at this point,” Garcia told reporters in a message thread.
“We are halfway through the printing of ballots for the conduct of manual elections,” he added.
Garcia previously said the printing of ballots for the BSKE is expected to finish this February.
While ruling out the possibility of full automation, Garcia said the Comelec is open to at least conducting a pilot test of automation of BSKE in certain areas.
“We will study if we can at least pilot test in certain areas/precincts the automation of the Barangay and SK elections,” he said.
“I conveyed this matter to Honorable Cong. Barzaga during the sideline of the launching of [Register Anywhere Project] in the House of Representatives. Therein, he informed me of the Resolution he was about to file. This is an innovative idea indeed,” he added.
In July 2022, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed Republic Act No. 11935, postponing the barangay and SK elections to October 2023. It was supposed to have been held on Dec. 5, 2022. Under the new law, it will be held on Oct. 30, 2023, and then every three years after that.
The last barangay and SK elections were held in May 2018.
President signs into law bill suspending 2022 barangay, SK elections
1.3M new voters register for SK, barangay elections — Comelec
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.