Comelec slows down procurement as BSKE 2020 postponement looms

By: Rosalie Abatayo September 25,2019 - 01:47 PM

Atty. Lionel Marco Castillano, Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor. | CDN Digital file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has “slowed down” the procurement process of the election paraphernalia for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) 2020 in the light of the looming postponement of the twin polls.

Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, Comelec Cebu provincial election supervisor, said they needed to slow down their procurement to avoid wastage of government funds in case a new law postponing the 2020 BSKE will be signed.

The Senate passed on second reading on Tuesday, September 24, the bill that seeks to move the next village and youth council polls to December 2022.

Read more: Senate OKs on second reading bill postponing barangay, SK elections

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July, the country’s chief executive had called on the postponement of the 2020 BSKE to October 2022  in order to fix the “truncated” terms of the incumbent barangay officials.

Read more: Duterte to Congress: Postpone 2020 barangay polls to 2022

“We’re going on with the preparations until it becomes law but we are slowing down with the procurement of election paraphernalia,” Castillano said.

Castillano said that the polls body will only continue up to the bidding of the supply of election materials to determine a supplier but will not yet issue a notice of award to winning bidders.

Castillano explained that some election paraphernalia like the indelible inks and ballpens may render useless if procured far ahead of the elections.

The last BSKE was originally set for October 2016 but was postponed by Congress to October 2017 and then to May 2018.

Republic Act 10952, which had set the last polls last May 2018, also provided the schedule of the next BSKE to be on the second Monday of May in 2020, providing only a two-year term for those who won in the last polls.

Meanwhile, Castillano said that the local Comelec offices may possibly extend the registration of voters if the 2020 BSKE will indeed be postponed.

However, Castillano said it will be up to the Comelec en banc to decide if extending the registration period is necessary, and the span of the extension.

The registration and reactivation of voters nationwide began last August 1 and is scheduled until September 30. /bmjo

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TAGS: Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, barnagay elections, BSKE, Comelec, Commission on Elections, postponement
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