Preparations for barangay, SK polls start in Mandaue

·2 min read

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) Mandaue City has geared up for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections scheduled in December this year, as it dismissed reports on the polls’ postponement.

Lawyer Michael Angelo Sarno, election officer IV, said Tuesday, May 31, that they have started their preparations for the barangay and SK elections, which are set on December 5, 2022.

Sarno denied the election would be postponed to 2024, saying they already received a memorandum from Comelec Manila to start their preparations.

Part of their preparations is to make inventories of the registration forms and vote registration machines (VRMs), which Sarno said have almost run out because of the national and local elections held last May 9.

The inventory would also include the cameras, signature pads, and fingerprint scanners that will be used for voter registration, which is scheduled to run from July to August.

Sarno said they would use two VRMs for the registration, and both machines are in good condition.

"As of this time, we are almost 100 percent ready except for the forms (registration forms). We are currently running out of supply for this. But Comelec Manila are already informed of this, and the delivery of the supplies will follow," he added.

He added that unlike the national and local elections held last May 9, the barangay and SK elections will be done manually.

The vote ballots will be sealed from the traditional ballot boxes, and the turnouts will be counted manually by the election personnel.

Comelec Mandaue will have 300 precincts for the barangay and SK polls.

In the May 9 elections, 800 precincts were available.

Under Republic Act 9340, barangay and SK officials will only serve for three years. The barangay polls, however, are often delayed, resulting in the extension of terms of officials.

The last barangay election in the country happened on May 14, 2018, after it was postponed twice. The original date was October 2016, but it was postponed to October 2017, then moved to May 2018.

The officials who won the May 2018 elections were expected to serve until June 30, 2020, but the polls were again postponed to 2022 due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, giving the officials time to serve until January 1, 2023.

In November 2021, a bill was again filed at the House of Representatives seeking to postpone the December 2022 barangay and SK elections to May 2024. Some incoming members of the House of Representatives have also expressed support for the postponement to save funds for the country’s pandemic response. (HIC/LMY)

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