The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to start the one-month printing period for the ballots to be used in the Dec. 5 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) next week.

Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia, in a press briefing Thursday, said the preparations for the polls will continue in the absence of a law postponing it.

“Yesterday (Wednesday) in our en banc session, our instructions were very clear to the staff and officials, we just kept on preparing. Yesterday, Director (Teopisto) Elnas presented the look of the BSKE ballot and then we gave instructions on how to print the ballot from Sept. 20 to Oct. 20, which will be done in one month at the NPO (National Printing Office),” he said.

“Also included is the procurement of ballot boxes, 20,000 ballot boxes. We will continue to prepare since there is still no law that replaces the law that BSKE is set on Dec. 5, 2022,” the poll body chief added.

Once a law postponing the polls is enacted and the ballots are already printed, Garcia said these ballots can be used in the next scheduled BSKE.

“Again, if we print 92 million ballots with the date Dec. 5, 2022. It will not be wasted because we can store them in the NPO, we will issue a resolution that the printed ballot can be used in the election if it is reset. Even election returns, non-accountable documents, nothing will be wasted, we will use everything,” he added.

Garcia said they are also preparing to conduct the filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) from Oct. 6 to 13.

“If by Oct. 5, there is no law yet, those looking to run in the BSKE should file their COC come Oct. 6,” he added.

The Comelec chief’s remarks came amid the endorsement of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation on the bill postponing the December elections for plenary approval.

On the other hand, the House of Representatives already passed on second reading the measure moving the forthcoming village and youth polls to Dec. 4, 2023. (PNA)

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