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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Polling precincts have opened in nearly 42,000 villages across the Philippines on Monday, May 14, for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections 2018.
Voting hours will be from 7 am to 3 pm.
In Barangay Bagong Silang in Caloocan, the biggest barangay in the Philippines, the crowd in polling precincts began to swell early as 7 am. This barangay, after all, is home to almost 250,000 people.
Some voters there had trouble finding their polling precincts. One of them even opted to go home and wasn’t able to vote because she claims nobody assisted her in checking where she can vote.
In Barangay Batasan Hills, the third most populous barangay in the country, voters lined up as early as 5:30 am to check where they will vote.
Use correct ballots
Incumbent barangay officials, elected in 2013, have remained in power after the village polls were rescheduled twice. Meanwhile, youth council posts have been vacant since 2013, when the terms of SK members last elected in 2010 ended.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared May 14 a special non-working holiday “to enable the people to fully exercise their right to suffrage.”
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) reminded voters to use the correct ballots on election day.
Voters aged 18-30 should fill out both the barangay ballot and the SK ballot (with red text headers).
Voters aged 15-17 should write on the SK ballot only, while those aged 31 and above should fill out the barangay ballot only.
Since this is a manual election, voters will have to write legibly on the ballot the names of the candidates they would be voting for.
Quick Reminders — election day (14 May 2018) is a spcl non-working holiday; the campaign period starts at midnight tonight (12:01AM, 4 May) and runs until 12 May; the candidates are asking YOU for a job, so choose wisely. #DAIMOS #KEBs #BSKE2018 pic.twitter.com/fRlapRkie6— James Jimenez (@jabjimenez) May 2, 2018
More than a million candidates will vie for village and youth council posts.
One punong barangay (barangay captain), 7 kagawads (members of the Sangguniang Barangay), one SK chairperson, and 7 SK members will be elected. (READ: Funds and power: 5 things we entrust the barangay officials we elect)
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Comelec have urged voters to choose candidates who are matino, mahusay, at maasahan (decent, excellent, and reliable). (WATCH: Rappler Talk: How Filipinos can win the barangay, SK elections 2018)
Ensuring peaceful, orderly polls
Thousands of policemen will be deployed nationwide to help ensure peaceful and orderly elections.
The Philippine National Police has identified around 7,915 barangays as election hot spots or highly politically charged areas. – with reports from Rambo Talabong and Ralf Rivas/Rappler.com