Comelec to remain prepared for BSKE after House panel votes for postponement

Commission on Election (Comelec) Chairman George Erwin Garcia said on Tuesday, Aug. 16 that it will remain prepared for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

MB file photo

This was after the House panel on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms voted 12-2 for the postponement of the BSKE initially slated on Dec. 5 this year. According to Garcia, they will respect whatever decision the Congress or the Senate will come up with.

"'Yun po kasing political decision is best reserved to the sound wisdom and discretion of our legislators and of course the Executive Department," he told reporters.

In a statement, Garcia also made it clear that the poll body recognizes the power of Congress to postpone the election and extend the term of office barangay and Sangguniang

Kabataan officials. He was present during the House of Representatives Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms (CSER) organizational meeting, headed by Mountain Province Lone District Representative Maximo Dalog, Jr.

Meanwhile, Garcia asked the members of the Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms to act swiftly in crafting a law on whether to postpone the BSKE or not, with the inclusion of the final date with which the Lower House would decide the BSKE to be held.

"Kami po sa Comelec (We in Comelec), we will just abide by the mandate of Congress and the Executive as far as postponing the election is concerned, whether it be May of 2023,

December of 2023, huwag naman pong 2024 because by that time, we will be preparing for the 2025 elections," he said.

A new law would give the Comelec an accurate direction as to the next steps that the Constitutional body would take, which would include the continuation of the voter's registration or halting the on-going preparation for the supposed poll in December of this year.

"We were given P8.449-B as the budget for the Barangay and SK elections. As of today, we have spent only P800,000 of that money. But, in the next few days, weeks or months, we will be spending from that money because we will now start with our procurement as well as the printing of the ballots. And that's where the urgency lies," Garcia stated.