BSKE ballot printing successfully finished

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THE printing of additional official ballots for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Election (BSKE) is 100 percent complete, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday, the start of the election period.

Comelec Commissioner Rey Dulay, commissioner in charge for the October 30 BSKE, said the additional ballots are intended for the new voters who registered from December 2022 to January 2023.

FIRST DAY Police officers and soldiers man a checkpoint in Manila on Monday, Aug. 28, 2023, the first day of the election period for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls. PHOTO BY MIKE ALQUINTO

FIRST DAY Police officers and soldiers man a checkpoint in Manila on Monday, Aug. 28, 2023, the first day of the election period for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls. PHOTO BY MIKE ALQUINTO

Also, additional ballots were printed for areas that conducted plebiscites, including Carmona and Baliwag (cityhoods), the creation of the provinces of Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur, as well as the additional 10 barangay (villages) that have been transferred to Taguig City.

Dulay said the poll body finished printing the more than 92 million official ballots for the initial voters list as early as March 2023.

A total of 1,179,445 additional ballots were printed for village voters and 199,437 for SK voters, Dulay added.

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All in all, 61,839,776 village ballots were printed and 23,245,313 ballots for SK, for a total of 91,049,089 official ballots for the BSKE.

The total number of contested positions for the BSKE is 42,027 punong barangay (village chiefs); 294,189 Sangguniang Barangay members; 42,027 SK chairmen; and 294,189 SK members.

The voting and canvassing will happen in 37,259 voting centers and 10 participating malls.

Moreover, the Comelec said that all its offices and election officers in the 148 cities and 1,486 municipalities started accepting the filing of certificates of candidacy (CoCs) on Monday until September 2.

The poll body said a resolution meant to stop vote-buying and -selling is nearing promulgation.

The resolution will provide more stringent deterrent actions such as the money ban, illegal possession of ballots, indelible ink and ink removers, prohibition on the hiring of excessive numbers of watchers, and a more defined focus on people massing on candidates’ houses for anything of value, to name a few.

The innovative measures will be implemented by various government and security agencies, including the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, among others.

The Comelec said that it is working closely with the PNP and its own Information Technology Department to enhance and tailor a more attuned and responsive digital election monitoring system “piggybacked” on the PNP’s “tried and tested” Election Monitoring and Action Center.

“Such revitalized EMS will be able to provide real-time, 24/7, swift information on all pre-election, election day, and post-election activities and eventualities for a more calibrated response,” the poll body said.

At least 176 venues across the country were also moved for the filing of CoCs.

In the National Capital Region, venues have been moved to 19 districts, of which eight will be held in malls.

The most number of venues transferred were from Region 4A (Calabarzon) with 23, followed by Regions 3 (Central Luzon) and 6 (Western Visayas) with 22.

There are also 15 venues transferred to Regions 5 (Bicol) and 7 (Central Visayas), and 13 in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), while the other regions have fewer than 10.

Under Section 191 of Comelec Resolution 10924, venues can be moved for security reasons.

Local poll preps

In Manila, police and security were overwhelmed by the huge number of candidates who trooped to the Comelec office to file their respective certificates of candidacy.

CoCs from all the barangay in the city will be accepted by the Comelec from August 28 to September 2, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following venues: District 1: SM City Manila; District 2: SM City Manila; District 3: SM San Lazaro; District 4: SM City Manila; District 5: Robinsons Manila; and District 6: Robinsons Otis.

Candidates were reminded to bring all the necessary documents.

In Pasig City, several CoCs that were notarized and had accompanying photos that were not passport-size were rejected.


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