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Para hindi sayang ang P31M: Comelec to use printed ballots in 2018 barangay polls

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will not put to waste the P31 million spent so far in the printing of the ballots intended tofor the Oct. 23 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections​.

Comelec Chair Andres Bautista​, addressing the senators during Thursday’s budget hearing,​ ​said they intend to use the ballots for the barangay elections rescheduled next year instaed.

​Senator JV ​Ejercito raised the matter ​after the Senate approved on third ​and final ​reading the bill postponing the barangay and SK elections to May 2018.

Bautista admitted though to senators that they have a problem with the “date” as those already printed carry the date Oct. 23, 2017.

“It’s possible for the Comelec en banc to pass a resolution that would allow us to use a ballot that has a different date but can be used for a future,” he said.

Comelec Comm. Christian Robert Lim seconded Bautista on resolving the problem through the issuance of a resolution.

“It possible that we could pass a resolution as long as we identify certain municipalities or provinces that have the same dates as its limited to these areas, then we can say that for purposes of the 2018 barangay elections the date, while it is reflected in the ballot that its 2017, it should be read as second Monday of May 2018. What is critical is the seal numbers need to be maintained,” Lim said.

Two other Comelec commissioners supported Lim’s proposition.

Comelec Comm. Ma. Rowena Amelia Guanzon, however, disagreed with her colleagues in the poll body saying that the law requires the date should be indicated which means the exact date of the polls, the month and year.

“So in my opinion I would rather print again,” she said.

Asked by Sonny Angara, finance committee vice chair and the presiding officer in the hearing, what will become of the printed ballots, Guanzon said it’s one of the risks that they have to face in the light of the postponement of the poll exercise.

“I mean I’m laying the risks of you know, technicalities and protests later and whatever, impeachment cases against …I would rather err on the side of prudence,” she said.

“Prudence but on the expensive side,” Angara commented.