As faulty ballots mount, Comelec admits it doesn't know if ballot printing was subcontracted

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has confirmed to a House panel that about 105,853 defective ballots for the May 9, 2022 polls had been printed.

What's worse is that Comelec admitted to lawmakers that it didn't know if the National Printing Office (NPO) had subcontracted the printing of ballots.


During the House Suffrage and Electoral Reforms Committee hearing on Monday, March 21, Cavite 4th district Rep. Elpidio Barzaga grilled recently appointed Comelec Commissioner George Garcia.

Barzaga asked if the Comelec knew where the faulty ballots originated from, “from the Comelec, from the printers of the supplier, or the printers of the NPO?"

According to Garcia, many of the faulty ballots came from the old printers of the NPO.

Barzaga then said he was aware that the NPO had outsourced or subcontracted the printing of ballots in the past due to limitations in equipment. He asked the Comelec official if this was still the case for the upcoming polls.

“The contracting party as far as the printing of ballots is concerned is the NPO and the Comelec. We have no knowledge as to whether the NPO subcontracted the printing of ballots,” Garcia bared.

Barzaga then asked the Comelec how long they had been printing faulty ballots.

“January up to today, we are still printing faulty ballots,” said Garcia.

Garcia earlier said that about 105,853 confirmed defective ballots had been printed.

He further explained that so far, about 55,579,000 ballots or close to 83 percent of the total 67,442,616 required ballots had been printed.

Comelec estimates that the ballot printing will be completed by the second week of April.

Meanwhile, Comelec has also drawn flak for not inviting party representatives to observe the printing of ballots.