Comelec begins printing of ballots for barangay polls

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 08 2013 08:55 AM | Updated as of Sep 08 2013 04:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Amid calls to postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in October, the Commission of Elections (Comelec) has started the printing of the official ballots for the barangay elections.

Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia yesterday said the National Printing Office (NPO) has already printed about 2.5 million ballots in the past three days.

"We hope that there will be no glitches in the printing and that it will be continuous so that we can meet the scheduled deployment of election materials in the provinces," Guia said.

The Comelec expects the printing of 52 million ballots to be completed within 28 days or in a month’s time, Guia said.

Guia said the early completion of the printing would prevent any delay in the delivery of election materials like what happened during the 2010 barangay elections.

“Our scheduled deployment would be on Oct. 17 or 18. Five days before that, we hope to complete the printing of the official ballots,” he said.

According to Guia, the official ballots will be thicker than the traditional barangay and SK ballots since the paper used for the ballots is similar to that used in the May 13 midterm elections.

Guia, however, said the ballots being printed do not include those to be used for the SK polls since Congress has yet to decide whether to postpone the SK elections.

"We will not wait for the resolution but, at a certain point in time, we have to make a decision. This is because, if we wait for it, we might run out of time to print (if it is not postponed)," he said.

Guia said the Comelec would be waiting until the end of the month before they decide on printing more than three million SK ballots.

"We just have to take the risk of printing them so that they can make it to the deployment of the ballots for the barangay," he said.