The number of aspirants who filed their certificates of candidacy (COC) to run in the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) on October 30 has reached 2,953 in Puerto Princesa City and 14,862 across all towns of Palawan.
The tally of candidates who filed their COCs from August 28 to September 2, a time that was characterized as being “largely peaceful,” except for a “minor misunderstanding” in Puerto Princesa City related to queuing problems, reached a total of 17,815.
Out of this number, 172 individuals aspire to compete for the position of barangay captain (punong barangay), while 160 intend to run for SK chairman in Puerto Princesa City. In Palawan, approximately 1,034 individuals are interested in contending for the top role within the barangay, and another 970 individuals are looking to become SK chairman.
However, according to Jomel Ordas, the spokesperson of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Palawan, it is not yet final that all will be able to run because the list will still be submitted to the Election Records and Statistics Department (ERSD) at their main office for verification.
“Ang magiging proseso, ang initial list nang mga nag-file ay isusubmit natin sa ERSD sa Comelec-main, dadaan pa po ito sa ilang verification pa para msiguro na lahat ay qualified at walang disqualification ng batas,” Ordas said.
He stated that following the verification procedure, the Comelec will provide a certified list of candidates. This roster will be displayed in the barangay halls prior to the October 30 BSKE polls.
Ordas said the qualifications that will undergo assessment include being a Filipino citizen, a registered voter of the barangay in which they are running, a resident of the barangay for at least one year before the election, capable of reading and writing in Filipino or a local dialect, and being 18 years old or older on the day of the election.
He elaborated that as part of the verification process, the ERSD will ascertain whether individuals who submitted COCs have a second-degree civil relationship with the SK, have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude or any offense with a penalty of one year or more imprisonment within 2 years after the sentence, and are not disqualified by law.
In the case of the Sangguniang Kabataan, in addition to some of the previously mentioned qualifications, candidates must be between 18 and 24 years old during the election, have the ability to read and write in both Filipino and English, and not be related by blood or marriage up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity with any elected official anywhere in the country.
“Ang iba pa ay kung declared ng competent authority as incompetent o may final judgment na sa kasong election offense o yung mga ipinagbabawal para sa mga candidates na sinasabi sa Omnibus Election Code,” he said.
Based further on information furnished by the provincial Comelec, in the entirety of Palawan, which also includes Puerto Princesa City, the number of individuals aspiring to contest for barangay councilor positions is 10,371, and there are 5,108 candidates vying for SK councilor roles.