The deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for the 2010 elections has been moved to November 30, this year instead of January, 2010.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo explained they decided to impose an earlier deadline for the COCs to give the poll body time to print ballots and other related paraphernalia.
The commission earlier moved the deadline for registration of voters to October 31 this year, instead of the usual December 15 deadline to accommodate the preparations for the full automation of the May 2010 polls.
"The Commission resolved to move back the voters’ registration deadline to October 31 from December 15 in order to give us more time to prepare for the full automation of the 2010 elections," Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement.
Despite the earlier deadline for registration, Jimenez said that voters will be given more opportunities to register after the commission also ruled to open registration on Saturdays and holidays, mainly to encourage students and workers to register.
Last February 12, the Comelec en banc promulgated Resolution 8585, amending portions of Resolution 8514 that provided the rules and regulations governing the resumption of the system of continuing voters’ registration.
Meanwhile, Comelec is focusing on the bidding for the optical mark reader (OMR) machines that will be used in the 2010 elections.
Melo said he expects to release the "terms of reference" for the bidding this month, adding ten companies have expressed interest in the bidding.
He noted the proposed P11.3 billion supplemental budget, that is now in the hands of the Senate, will cover the full automation from the precinct level up to the canvassing and transmission of votes to the Comelec's national office.
According to poll officials, once the OMR technology is in place, winners will be known after three days. With a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News