July 19, 2024

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Commission on Elections-Cordillera is preparing for the Oct. 30 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE).

Comelec-Cordillera Director Julius Torres said they had been preparing for the BSKE since last year.

“Currently, ballot boxes are being deployed in the different provinces to replace those which are already unserviceable or those that cannot be used,” Torres said.

He said within the coming weeks, they will reactivate the Regional Joint Security Control Center.

This will signal the formal and official start of the partnership of the Comelec, the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other stakeholders.

Torres said the Comelec needs to compete the printing of official ballots which will be used for the manual elections. At present, the Comelec field offices are printing the election day computerized voters’ lists and the posted computerized voters’ lists.

The poll body earlier said the updated lists of registered voters will be released not later than Aug. 1.

After the filing of candidacy from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2, Torres said they will constitute the members of the electoral board.

“They will undergo trainings before manning the designated polling precincts,” he added.

Under Comelec Resolution 10905, the period to constitute the members of the Electoral Board and Barangay Board of Canvassers is from Aug. 1 to Sept. 9.

Based on the calendar of activities of the Comelec pursuant to Resolution 10905, the election period and gun ban is set from Aug. 28 to Nov. 29.

Campaign period is from Oct. 19 to 28 and liquor ban is from Oct. 29 and 30.

Voting on Oct. 30 will be from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The last day of file of statements of contributions and expenditures is on Nov. 29.

The last BSKE was held on May 14, 2018. The next election was set May 2020 but was moved to December 2022 pursuant to Republic Act 11462 signed by then President Rodrigo Duterte.

Last year, Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. signed RA 11935 postponing the Dec. 2022 BSKE to Oct. 30.

With the postponement, the incumbent barangay and SK officials are now on their fifth year in office from the supposed three-year term, while shortening the term of those to be elected in October this year to only two years.  

The Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional the law postponing the Dec. 5, 2022 BSKE, but ruled the Oct. 30 BSKE shall push through pursuant to the operative fact doctrine. – Debbie E. Gasingan