THE Commission on Elections started printing last Sunday the 85 million ballots that will be used for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls set for October 31.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the poll body decided to push on with the printing of its ballots despite proposals from Congress to postpone the elections.
“The long and short of it is we must follow the law, whatever the law may be. Right now, the law says we must have an election on Oct. 31. As long as there is no law that postpones it, we don’t have a choice but to implement the law. And because there is no law yet, and as it is, there are only 70 days before the elections, we are left with no choice but to start printing the ballots already,” he said.
Bautista said 57 million of the total 85 million ballots will be for the barangay polls, while the remaining 28 million is allotted for SK.
He added the Comelec targets to finish the printing by October 21.
“We are allotting 60 days for the printing. Hopefully, we will finish by Oct. 21,” the poll chief said.
Printing Committee head Genevieve Guevarra said the ballot printing is not in full swing because of a possible postponement of the polls.
“The instruction to us is not to go full swing with the printing because there are several bills for the postponement. What we want to avoid is we already have millions printed then it will just be postponed,” she said.
For his part, Bautista said they are hoping to receive an advisory from Congress whether or not to push with the Barangay and SK elections within 10 days.
“I would hope that by the end of August, they already have a decision on whether it will be postponed or not. Once we get a word that the law postponing it will be passed, we will stop with the preparations already,” he said.
Meanwhile, Guevarra cautioned it would already be too late if the National Printing Office would not go full blast by next month.
“We will run out of time even if we go 1.9 to 2 million ballots (per day) if we don’t start in September,” she said.