PN file photo

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is now in full swing with its preparations for the October 30 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, particularly with the printing of election materials, acting Palawan Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Percival Mendoza said.

Mendoza said he expects the delivery of the election materials to different provinces at least 45 days before the election once the members of the electoral board for every clustered precincts and barangay board of canvassers have been constituted.

“Expect that 45 days before the election, meron na tayong members of electoral board for every clustered precincts and meron na rin tayong barangay BOCs and then after that, makakapag-distribute na tayo ng non-accountable forms,” he said.

He assured that the election materials will be delivered only to the Municipal Election Officers and the Municipal Treasurers and will be distributed to the precincts on the day of election or at least 24 hours before.

He also said he sees no problems with the delivery of the materials to far-flung areas such as the town of Kalayaan where the materials will be transported by a Philippine Air Force aircraft on the day of election.

“May mga election paraphernalia na ihahatid ng F2 Logistics, yung ating provider. As a matter of fact, nagsisimula na ngayon. Meron sa barangay level, especially yung non-accountable forms – ballpens, bond paper, pwede yan i-deliver a week or two weeks before the date of election.

The accountable forms such as official ballots, statement of votes and election returns will be delivered to the precincts within 24 hours before the election, he said.

“For those in Agutaya, Cuyo and Magsaysay, two or three weeks before, all the forms will be delivered to the election officer and municipal treasurer,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mendoza said he considers his new post as Palawan’s acting PES as a more challenging role in heading the coming elections, as he is not new to the province.

He was assigned in Palawan during the May 2016 national and local elections.

He took over the province’s top Comelec post after Atty. Urbano Arlando retired last May 25.

“We call it more challenging sa ating kakayahan bilang Provincial Election Supervisor para pamunuan ang halalan. Although nagkaroon na ako ng karanasan dito sa lalawigan ng Palawan noong May 2016 local and national elections,” Mendoza said.

“And I believe that we had clean orderly and honest elections that time. Elections were done on May 9 and fortunately, we were able to conclude everything on Thursday of the same week which is faster compared to previous elections,” he added.

Furthermore, Mendoza stated that some of the election paraphernalia, particularly the official ballots that will be used will have a December 5, 2022 date.

In October last year, President Ferdinand Marcos signed Republic Act 11935 moving the BSKE from December 5, 2022 to October 30, 2023. Before the law was signed however, the Comelec has begun printing election paraphernalia bearing the December 5, 2022 date.

“Baka ma-mislead kayo, yung ibang official ballots, hindi ko lang alam kung kasama ang Palawan, ang date ay December 2022. Meron namang Comelec resolution para hindi masayang kasi nga naghahanda na kami last year pa. Nagkataon lang may batas na ipinasa that took effect on October 2022 so tinigil ang printing,” Mendoza explained.

“Pero ngayon in full swing na yung printing at tuloy na tuloy na ang halalan sa October 30,” he said. (with a report from R. Luzares)