MANILA – The Commission on Elections has suspended the printing of ballots for the 2016 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections since Friday.
Genevieve Guevarra, head of the Comelec Printing Committee, said the suspension was due to the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that supports calls to postpone the Oct. 31 polls.
“We are suspending the printing following the statement of President Duterte,” she said in a statement.
However, she said they are looking to resume the printing on Sept. 1.
“If there is still no law or a joint resolution from Congress on the postponement by Sept. 1, we will resume the printing,” Guevarra added.
It can be recalled that the poll body started the printing of the ballots for the barangay polls Aug. 21.The ballots for the SK elections are scheduled to be printed Sept. 1.
The Comelec said that the cost per ballot has been reduced to P3 from the initial price of P3.80 that was given by the National Printing Office.
Duterte has expressed support on the move of Congress to postpone the elections, fearing that drug money might be used to fund candidates.
About 85 million ballots are to be printed for the Barangay and SK polls.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez noted that it is only sensible to temporary halt the printing of the ballots in connection with the President's statement regarding the forthcoming elections.
“It was considered a prudent course of action considering that both the House and the Senate have already expressed similar leanings," he said in an interview.
He said they have printed over 400,000 ballots since they started over a week ago.*PNA
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