(File Photo)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to start this week the printing of the more than 67 million official ballots to be used in the May 9 national and local elections.

In a presentation shown during the virtual walk-through of the National Printing Office (NPO) in Quezon City on Tuesday, Comelec printing committee vice chairperson Helen Aguila said a total of 67,442,714 ballots will be printed — 65,745,512 ballots for local voting and 1,697,202 ballots for overseas voting.

Aguila said the printing of the ballots is expected to be finished in April, including the buffer period.

“The buffer period is incorporated there because if we are to compute based on the peak performance of the printers of NPO accumulative capacity is 1,100,000 per day if it is working in peak performance. We are realistic in anticipating contingencies including the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) surge and infection of our workers so until April 21 that includes the buffer period. Our buffer period is about two weeks or three weeks,” she added.

Meanwhile, Comelec chairperson Sheriff Abas reported that three printing machines will be used while another machine is put on standby.

“We have one new printer machine which we required for the 2022 polls. The three machines, we’ve used them in the 2019 elections. We have four available machines,” he said.

During the walk-through, poll body officials explained the process of ballot printing — from production to the packing and shipping of the ballots. (PNA)