The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is now 100% ready for the 2023 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) on October 30, poll body spokesperson Atty. John Rex Laudiangco said Wednesday.
Laudiangco said almost 92 million ballots to be used for the elections were already printed.
“Ang natitira na lamang pong gagawin ng Comelec ay dalawa, una po 'yung pagimprinta ng karagdagang balota para doon sa mga bagong botante at para doon sa mga nareactivate na 1.6 million at kayang kayang tapusin sa loob ng tatlong araw,” he said in the public briefing.
(The only things left for the Comelec to do are, first, is to print additional ballots for those new voters and for those who have been reactivated, 1.6 million and it can be completed within three days.)
“At 'yung deployment at training po ng ating mga teachers na magsisilbing miyembro ng electoral boards. Ito ay gagawin namin isa o dalawang buwan bago ang halalan para fresh pa ang training sa ating mga guro by the time dumating ang halalan,” he added.
(And the deployment and training of our teachers who will serve as members of the electoral boards. We will do this one or two months before the polls so that the training for our teachers will still be fresh by the time the election comes.)
Based on the latest figures earlier released by Laudiangco, there are 2,076,491 who have processed their registration through the regular process, while 8,651 registered through the Registration Anywhere Project.
The latest figures bring the total number of registrants to 2,085,142 for the 2023 BSKE. Of this, 1,243,822 are new registrants.
Meanwhile, Laudiangco said they supported the bill allowing senior citizens or those aged 60 and above as well as persons with disabilities (PWDs) to vote earlier than the scheduled election day.
“Buong puso sinusuportahan ng Comelec ang early voting bill para sa ating mga senior citizens, PWDs, at mga human resources for health. Humihiling lang po kami ng karagdagang pondo para mas maayos po natin maipatupad ang early voting po,” he said.
(The Comelec wholeheartedly supports the early voting bill for our senior citizens, PWDs, and human resources for health. We are only asking for additional funds so that we can better implement early voting.)
The House of Representatives on Monday approved on final reading House Bill 7576 providing for early voting by qualified senior citizens, PWDs, lawyers, and human resources for health in national and local elections.
Laudiangco said the Comelec was also prepared for the implementation of early voting hours if the bill will not be passed before the BSKE.
“Kung sakaling hindi maisabatas ito at hindi umabot sa barangay elections, nakahanda ang Comelec na isagawa 'yung pinaplano naming early voting hours. Halimbawa, 'yung oras na 5 a.m. hanggang 7 a.m. ilalaan exclusively sa seniors citizens, PWDs, pati na rin po sa mga buntis na kababaihan,” he said.
(In the event that thi is not enacted before the barangay elections, the Comelec is ready to implement our plan for early voting hours. For example, from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. will be allocated exclusively to senior citizens, PWDs, as well as pregnant women.)
“Una, 'yung priority sa pagboto 'yung vulnerable sectors. Hindi nila kailangan pumila uunahin po namin sila. Ikalawa, pagtatag ng emergency accessible polling place para sa mga buntis, senior citizen, at PWDs na 'yung kanilang presinto ay nasa ikalawa o ikatlong palapag,” he added.
(First, the priority in voting is the vulnerable sectors. They don't need to line up, we'll prioritize them. Second, creating an emergency accessible polling place, for pregnant women, senior citizens, and PWDs whose precincts are on the second or third floor.)
“Hindi na natin siya papaakyatin, dun lang siya sa baba sa unang palapag lang po at kasama ng watchers, electoral boards, sila na ang kukuha ng balota at dadalhin sa vulnerable sector doon po siya boboto sa accessible polling place,” he added.
(We will no longer make them go upstairs, they will just vote on the first floor together with the watchers, and electoral boards. They will take the ballot and give it to the vulnerable sector at the accessible polling place.)
The BSKE has been repeatedly postponed since 2016. In October 2022, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed the law moving the supposed December 2022 BSKE to the last Monday of October 2023.—AOL, GMA Integrated News