The Commission on Elections is now preparing for the scheduled synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections next year, despite pending bills in the House of Representatives to reschedule the polls from May 2020 to May 2023.
In fact, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said they are now preparing for the registration of voters starting August 1.
Guanzon, who attended the oath taking rites of Mayor Salvador Escalante and other Cadiz City elected officials yesterday, said that Comelec is ready to manage the next barangay elections, if Congress will not postpone it.
“It is up to Congress”, she stressed.
Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez has filed House Bill No. 41 changing the term of barangay and SK officials from three to five years.
Benitez said that a three-year term is too short for barangay officials to effect change in the delivery of services and governance at the barangay level.
On proposals to revert back to manual voting amid questions regarding the results of the May 13 elections, Guanzon said manual voting is practiced during the barangay election based on existing laws.
What is important is the vigilance of the people in the manual election to ensure that there will be no cheating, she added.
There are lawmakers who are also pushing for a mixed manual and automated elections.
Guanzon said, that in her personal view, she prefers that the transmission of results should be electronic to hasten the counting of results.
If we will not resort to electronic transmission, it will take 10 days to proclaim elected officials, she added, stressing that it will be up to Congress.
Whatever laws it will pass, the Comelec will only comply, Guanzon also said.
What is important is that Comelec will deliver and administer fair, credible and honest elections, she said.*
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