February 28, 2024

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The Commission on Elections provincial office has started the training of 18 policemen who will serve as members of the special electoral board for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE). 

“We are going manual for the BSK election, different from the automated, thus the report will be manually done. The counting will also be manually done, which will require the electoral board to submit reports after the completion of the voting, counting, and the proclamation of winning officials,” Provincial Elections Officer Atty. Dexter Cawis said.

The training will focus on appreciation of ballots, duties and functions of the barangay board of canvassers, voter’s assistance desk, casting of votes, count of the votes, and how to accomplish the after-election processes.   

Out of the 18, 11 members of the Provincial Mobile Force Company are scheduled to be deployed as members of the special electoral board in three voting places in Barangay Mabongtot in Lubuagan during the Oct. 30 election. The others are for standby in case there is a need for them to render election duty.  

Of the 11, nine will serve as members of the three-man special electoral board, composed of a chairperson, a poll clerk, and a support staff. 

The special electoral board will be composed of seven female and two male policemen. 

There are 510 clustered precincts in the province, spread out in 153 villages.

The deployment will be done in areas usually facilitated by policemen due to refusal of teachers to serve at the voting place because of tribal wars. 

Lubuagan Election Officer Mae Lynne Gallamoy-Oyando said policemen started handling the precincts in Mabongtot during the 2013 BSKE, and was followed during the national election in 2016 and the BSKE in 2018. 

Relatively, the Abra provincial election officer informed the Comelec regional office of some teachers’ withdrawal of intention to serve as electoral board members in at least 21 polling precincts.

In a reply to questions sent by the Philippine News Agency, Comelec-Cordillera Director Julius Torres confirmed that teachers from eight precincts in the capital town Bangued, two in Lagayan, and 14 in Pilar have asked to be relieved from their election-related tasks.

He said there will be policemen in Abra who will be trained to render special election duties to replace the teachers. 

Cawis said the province has a total of 157,220 registered voters and all the positions in the 153 villages have candidates. – PNA