MANILA (UPDATED) - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has approved a proposal by lawmakers to postpone the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for next May's elections, its spokesperson said Wednesday.
Both chambers of Congress on Monday adopted resolutions urging Comelec to push back the deadline of the COC filing to October 11 to 17 from October 1 to 5 so they could have time to attend to their legislative duties.
The Comelec en banc approved the request "because some spaces were found in the timeline of our preparations," said its spokesperson James Jimenez.
The election body, however, will have to cut short the period for validating candidacies to a month from the usual 2 months, so it could keep the schedule of the ballot printing in December, he said.
"If we can keep that unchanged, then we should be fine downstream," Jimenez told ANC.
Comelec is also studying a separate proposal by the Makabayan bloc of lawmakers to extend the January deadline for voter registration, its spokesperson said.
Aside from the local and national elections, the commission also needs to prepare for the January 21 plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, Jimenez noted.
Preparations for the plebiscite are "on track," with satellite voter registration centers seeing "very high numbers of applicants," he said.
"The interest is very high, the mood is very light. I think that everything will proceed smoothly until the scheduled plebiscite," he added.