Comelec: Late decision on fate of barangay, SK polls might waste P1-B

MANILA, August 1 -- An official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that an estimated PHP1 billion could go to waste if the decision to postpone the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls will come in late.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez explained that such amount might be lost once they start their preparations for the scheduled polls, such as the printing of the ballots, only to be stopped when Congress eventually passes a law postponing the village and youth elections.

"We may reach about PHP1 billion because we are not just talking about the actual ballot printing. We are also purchasing supplies like finger print taker, ballot boxes. They are included in our costs," he said in a forum in Manila.

The poll body official noted that they have slowed down on their preparations.

"We are trying to minimize the possibility of public funds going to waste," Jimenez said.

With this, the poll official added that they have until next week after which they will push through with the printing of the ballots.

"The deadliest deadline is the second week of August," said Jimenez.

He added, "We will pursue the ballot printing whatever happens by the second week of August, except if they already come out with a decision."

A bill pending in the Senate seeks to postpone the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to October 2018.

Likewise, there is a pending bill at the House of Representatives that seeks to reset the said polls to May 2020.

Source: Philippine News Agency