July 24, 2024

A ranking election official is encouraging eligible voters to take the postponement of the village and Sangguniang Kabataan elections as an opportunity to participate in future elections.
Although there are no final guidelines yet from the Comelec central office regarding the planned registration on the last week of November to the first week of May this year, City Elections Officer John Paul Martin has encouraged voters to enlist when the Comelec formally opens its continuing voter registration next month so they can cast their ballots in October 2023.
President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. signed on Oct. 12 the bill that postponed the Dec. 5 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to the last Monday of October 2023.
Upon the issuance of a Comelec resolution on the changes in the poll body’s activities, Martin said they will hold offsite registration, targeting SK voters.
“We will focus on SK voters and will conduct offsite registration in schools,” Martin said.
The Comelec expected to enlist and reactivate five million voters all over the country for the six-month registration.
There are 171,532 voters for the barangay elections and 48,732 voters for the SK in Baguio City, based on the data of the local poll body.
There are 1,008 precincts and 59 polling places.
Martin said the number of voters is expected to increase once the registration resumes, pursuant to the resolution to be issued by the Comelec central office.
This year’s barangay and SK elections postponement is the fourth time since 2016 these local polls were deferred.
Comelec Chair George Garcia said the poll body has prepared for the Dec. 5 elections, but the postponement was a political decision and Comelec administers decisions of political departments.
With the postponement, the Comelec said it would need additional P10 billion to implement the barangay and SK elections in 2023, which among other things, will be used for additional election paraphernalia, printing of more ballots, ballot boxes, and honoraria of members of the electoral board. – Jane B. Cadalig