Garcia

Comelec to start printing ballots for BSKE on Monday

September 18, 2022 Yvonne P. Cervantes 243 views

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to start the printing of official ballots for the December 2022 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on Monday.

Comelec Chairperson George Garcia yesterday said the monthlong schedule for the printing job is supposed to be finished on Oct. 20, pending the decision on the proposal to postpone the BSKE.

“Yun naman doon sa pagbili namin ng lahat ng mga kagamitan, unti-unti na naming nabibigay ang award niyan and therefore kapag na-deliver na sa atin, isa-isa na rin nating babayaran,” he said in a radio interview.

Comelec acting spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said Friday that supplies that are supposed to be used for the 2022 BSKE would not go to waste if the polls are postponed, adding that the poll body can simply store the materials and the printed ballots, and use them when the polls eventually push through.

A Senate bill seeking to postpone the BSKE to the second Monday of December 2023 got a sponsorship in the Chamber on Wednesday.

The House of Representatives, on the other hand, approved on second reading on Tuesday a counterpart measure also seeking BSKE postponement for one year.

But Garcia has repeatedly pointed out that the Comelec would need a bigger budget if the BSKE will be delayed anew, saying that the poll body’s proposed 2023 budget did not include a funding for the extra expenses resulting from the postponement.

He said the Comelec needs P10 billion if the BSKE were postponed to May 2023, or P17 billion if it will be in December 2023.

In addition, Garcia said that the bulk of Comelec expenses for the 2022 BSKE is allotted for the training of the teachers, roughly amounting to P300 million.

“Ang isa sa pinakamalaki o bulk ng gastos ay ‘yung mismong pagte-train ng mga guro… Aabutin, sa aming estima, ng P300 milyon ang gagastusin sa buong Pilipinas kaya hindi muna namin ginagawa,” he said.

Also, he said that the training of poll workers and the electoral board should be held by the second or third week of November this year.

The poll body chief said he expects both House of Congress to immediately make known their decision on the postponement proposal.