(PN File Photo)

Despite having laid down their position regarding the postponement of the December 5, 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE), Commission on Elections Chairman George Erwin M. Garcia said there is nothing they can do now but comply with the law.

Garcia issued the official statement after COMELEC received the notification that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has signed into law Republic Act 11935, or the “Act Postponing the December 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections.”

The law moved the BSKE to October 30, 2023, extending the term of office of barangay and SK officials to almost another year.

Garcia said, what the COMELEC will do next is to continue with the “voters’ registration in order to ensure the greater participation of the citizenry.”

“Resumption of voter registration will be set for either the last week of November or the first week of December after requisite preparatory activities and training,” spokesperson Atty. John Rex C. Laudianco also said in a separate statement.

“As I have said before, the COMELEC shall comply with the law. I have conveyed the COMELEC position with regard to the postponement of the BSKE to the legislature and the President and I trust that such a position was duly noted and considered,” Garcia said.

He also said the Commission will release an announcement regarding an adjustment to the calendar of activities and “revisit our existing and planned procurement contracts related to the BSKE and act accordingly with the best interest of all parties in mind.”

“This postponement also gives this Commission an opportunity to further institute education and information programs for the benefit of our electorate and prospective BSKE candidates,” Garcia said.

In addition, Laudianco also said the COMELEC will en banc meet and deliberate to revise the calendar of activities, which includes the election period, gun ban and other prohibited activities, and the period for filing of certificates of candidacy.

He also said the public can be “rest assured that election supplies and paraphernalia, including printed ballots and other accountable and non-accountable forms, procured through competitive public bidding and other procurement modalities, will not be put to waste.”

The printing of ballots at the National Printing Office will also be temporarily suspended to reconfigure the ballot face templates to reflect the October 30, 2023, date of BSKE in the next batch of official ballots.

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