MANILA (UPDATE) — The printing of Halalan 2022 ballots, initially set to start Wednesday, has been moved "to a date yet to be announced," the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said, citing "various technical factors" encountered by the printing committee.
In a statement sent to reporters, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the printing of ballots did not push through as scheduled.
"The printing committee, taking into consideration various technical factors, has moved the start of printing to a date yet to be announced," he said.
He did not identify the technical issues faced by the printing committee.
On Tuesday, the Comelec hosted a virtual walkthrough of the National Printing Office (NPO) where the printing of Halalan 2022 ballots would take place.
During the event, Comelec officials said the start of printing of ballots for overseas and local absentee voters is scheduled Jan. 19 or 20.
The printing committee said they are confident that ballot printing would be completed by April 21, even factoring in possible setbacks due to COVID-19.
According to Jimenez, the printing committee said the delay would not "negatively impact" on other Halalan 2022-related preparations.
"The committee assures the public that this later start will not negatively impact the Comelec’s preparations for the elections," he said.
The is not the first time the scheduled printing of ballots has been postponed. The first target date for the activity was Jan. 15, but this was moved to the Jan. 17.
The Comelec is set to print a total of 67,442,714 official ballots, 65,745,512 of which are for local or in-country voting, and the remaining 1,697,202 are for overseas voters.
The Philippines will hold its national and local elections on May 9.
— With reports from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News