File photo by Rappler/Raffy Taboy
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections is "all set for the barangay elections on Monday," October 28.
Voters, for their part, will be back to the manual exercise after two automated polls in 2010 and 2013. They will be handwriting on the ballots again and dropping them into the familiar yellow boxes from elections of old.
In a press briefing attended by all commissioners, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr announced on Wednesday, October 23, the poll body's preparedness to supervise an election where more candidates are vying for posts, more voters are expected, and more voting precincts will be utilized compared to general polls.
A total of 809,136 candidates – 94,124 for barangay captain and 715,012 for kagawad (councilor) – will be running in 42,028 barangays across the country.
The number of registered voters for the barangay polls increased to 54,051,626, up by 2 million compared to the midterm elections last May 13.
Voting hours shall be from 7 am to 3 pm. Votes will be counted manually.
There will be 170,600 polling precincts and 511,800 teachers serving as boards of election tellers (BETs) this year, according to Commissioner Grace Padaca.
Comelec also set up pilot test areas in 4 SM malls as accessible polling places for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens:
Comelec is coordinating with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for a secure and peaceful election. A total of P100 million is allocated for security operations: P60 million for PNP and P40 million for AFP.
Coinciding with the barangay polls on Monday is the plebiscite in Davao del Sur for the creation of a new province, Davao Occidental.
Comelec also reminded the public that the liquor ban will be in effect from October 27 to 28. (READ: Barangay elections: Know what's banned and more)
In addition, the poll body announced that the barangay polls in Bohol and Zamboanga City have been postponed to November 25.
The Comelec is still drafting the resolution that will set the calendar of activities for these areas.
A 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Bohol on Tuesday, October 15, causing significant loss of lives and damage to infrastructure. There are 799,089 registered voters and 1,109 polling precincts in Bohol. (READ: Barangay polls in Bohol postponed – Comelec)
Commissioner Al Parreño said that the yellow ballot boxes and other election paraphernalia have arrived in Bohol. These are stored and secured in the provincial capitol in Tagbilaran City.
Meanwhile, Zamboanga City is still recovering from a 3-week conflict between government troops and Muslim rebels in September. The elections there were postponed by Comelec last October 8.
A total of 412,661 registered voters and 98 polling precincts are in Zamboanga City. – Rappler.com