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Preparations for Barangay, SK polls in limbo

Except for the voter’s registration, the Commission on Election (Comelec) has temporarily stopped all its preparatory activities for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

Last week, the election body announced it has indefinitely suspended the printing of official ballots in anticipation of the passage of a new legislation in Congress seeking to reset the dates for the twin elections from Oct. 31 this year to October next year.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez pointed out that Comelec also opted to apply the moratorium on the procurement of election supplies and paraphernalia like envelopes, padlocks, fingerprint pads and pens.

“Other preparations have been suspended as well, for instance the bidding processes,” Jimenez said in an interview.

He said the suspension also covers even those parties, which were already selected in the bidding process and are just awaiting their Notices of Award and those, which are still undergoing evaluation.

“We have not been handing out the Notices of Award to winning bidders,”  Jimenez said. .

Comelec earlier said it expects Congress to officially reschedule the barangay and SK elections after the proposal received growing support from President Duterte and other lawmakers.

With the imminent rescheduling of both elections, Comelec decided to extend the voters’ registration up to next year.

Based on latest data, Comelec said more than 3 million new voters have already registered and are qualified to vote in the barangay and SK elections.