Oliver Bugarin 6 0 0 4 min to read

Comelec switches the production of BSKE ballots to the final week of September.

The commencement of printing the more than 91 million ballots to be used in the Dec. 5 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE), which was initially slated for Wednesday, has been postponed to next week by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The National Printing Office (NPO) and Comelec must rewrite their memorandum of understanding for the activity, according to acting Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco, which will delay the printing process.

In a message to reporters, he said that “we revised our MOA with NPO on two factors that they offered to the Comelec: 1. Inclusion of the additional security feature of ascending serialized numbers free of charge and at no additional cost to the Comelec; and 2. NPO is offering the provision of warehousing and warehousing services for the ballots instead of us procuring it through competitive public bidding.”

According to Laudiangco, the agreement will be purchased between government agencies, allowing the government and the commission to save money.

“Since the money will stay with the government and the ballots won’t be moved to another warehouse,” he stated.

Village voters will receive 67,061,585 ballots, while young voters will receive an additional 24,457,363 ballots.

Laudiangco stated that the NPO is preparing three machines to print the ballots and other responsible forms.

“There are three machines, and a million ballots are produced daily. We believe the required ballots can be finished in less than 30 days. (The printing) will be finished in 45 days, accounting for verification and responsible paperwork—45 days, including the time for deployment planning. We can state that we are prepared to hold the polls if the postponement is unsuccessful,” he continued.

He added that they are prepared to purchase materials like ballpoint pens, indelible ink, and folders.

Competitive public bids have come to a close. Just to make room in case the BSKE is delayed, the awarding are being postponed. However, according to our schedule, it ought to be fully prepared by mid-October because we’ll keep up with the purchasing… By October, everything will be finished, according to Laudiangco.

The House of Representatives passed the bill fixing the BSKE to December 2023 on Tuesday during its third and final reading.

The measure’s version is now being debated in the Senate.

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