Comelec shares some guidelines in BSKE 2023 filing of COC
CEBU CITY, Philippines — (UPDATED) After the mall voting simulation on August 19, 2023, the Commission on Elections Central Visayas (Comelec 7) is preparing for the filing of the certificates of candidacy (COC) for the Barangay, Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) starting on Monday, August 28.
With this, Omar Shariff Mamalinta, Comelec Cebu spokesperson, shared in a news forum on August 22, some guidelines for the BSKE.
Comelec 7 on filing of COCs
Mamalinta shared some points to do when filing for the COC which would take place from August 28 to September 2.
He said that the candidate could file it “personally” or by an “authorized representative” with a sworn and signed authority to file the COC form.
Next, the candidate has to make sure that a passport size photo taken within the last six months is attached to each copy of COC.
Moreover, the candidate has to make sure that a documentary stamp is attached to one copy of the COC and the documentary stamp number should be written on the remaining two copies.
Four or five copies needed
Mamalinta said that in other offices of Comelec, they would require four or five copies for “documentation purposes.”
Meanwhile, the candidate may also attach a biodata or program of government not exceeding 100 words.
In this case, the aspirant or the candidate can write a biodata about them as a person, or about the program of government in a “short but narrative manner.”
Unless there was an official change of name through a court-approved proceeding, the candidate shall use it in the COC, Mamalinta said.
“When it comes to erroneous data as to the spelling of the name, birthdate, or birthplace, pwede ta maka (we can) require og (a) birth certificate coming from the office from the local civil registrar, pwede pod (the) baptismal certificate (is also okay),” he said.
He said that they most likely preferred to have the document from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Furthermore, the aspirant may include one nickname or stage name that is generally known in their locality provided that the aspirant uses the said nickname or stage name.
“That’s why we have to filter when they file their COC kung unsay nickname ang gamiton para dili magkaparehas sa lain nga kandidato (if what nickname they will use so that the candidates won’t have similar names.),” he said.
Mamalinta said that the filing of COC would be incomplete, primarily when it would not have a “documentary stamp.”
It is also considered incomplete when there is “no original signature or digital signature” of the aspirant, unnotarized COC, incomplete address, no photograph, and “not completely filled out COC.”
“Kinahanglan, katong ge require nato nga blanko nga naa sa COC, dapat e-fill out gyud, otherwise, dili pud na siya ma considered nga complete filing of COC,” he said.
(The blanks at the COC that are required to be filled up should be filled up, otherwise it will not be considered as a complete filing of the COC.)
Don’ts in filing the COC
Mamalinta said that they would regulate the number of people in the offices during the filing process.
“Katong mga supporters naa ra sila sa gawas para malikayan ang gubot sa sulod pod,” he said.
(The supporters will stay outside so that any trouble will be avoided inside the office.)
Number of voters
There are 1,182,473 registered SK voters in Cebu Island as of March 2023 aged 15 to 30 years old.
While the voters for both the SK and barangay polls are 3,402,922 aged 15 to 30 years old.
Of the number, Mamantila, however, did not provide the specific number of voters aged 15 to 17 years old because he did not have the data as of press time.
According to the Comelec, youth aged 15 to 17 can only vote in the SK polls, while those 18 years old and above can vote both the barangay and SK polls.
As to the growth of the number of voters since 2018 when the last SK and barangay elections were held, Mamalinta said that the Comelec had yet to determine it.
Furthermore, he said that the mall voting simulation conducted last August 19, 2023 in Robinsons Galleria Cebu was successful.
Comelec Commissioner Nelson Celis attended the voting simulation as well as the Election and Barangay Affairs Department.
If the mall would be used as a voting center on October 30 and if it would be successful nationally, they would continue to do it in 2025, Mamalinta said in mixed Cebuano and English.
As of writing, there are four simulation malls for voting nationwide: Robinsons Galleria Cebu, SM City Legazpi in Albay, Robinsons Manila, and SM City Manila.
“Mall voting can only be done if there is a consultation with the locals and the officials in the barangay,” he said.
If they would agree with the mall voting, he said, they would conduct a voting simulation, but if not, then they would not conduct it.
“Mall voting will be considered as a voting center, gawas sa atong mga eskwelahan nga na (outside of our schools which are) establish as voting centers nationwide,” he added.
Voting centers for Barangay Pitogo ang Parian
There will be two malls in Cebu which will have voting centers on October 30: the Robinsons Galleria and SM City Consolacion.
However, they were only able to conduct the simulation activity in Robinsons Galleria last August 19 because SM City Consolacion might have failed to comply with the requirements for the activity, according to Mamalinta.
SM City Consolacion will host the Barangay Pitogo in Consolacion voters only but not the entire number of voters.
The Consolacion mall will only cater around 2,000 voters from the said barangay.
Meanwhile, there will be more than 2,000 voters who will cast their votes in Robinsons Galleria, specifically hosting the voters from Barangay Parian in Cebu City.
One of the requirements of a mall to be a voting center would be to have an area measuring 63 square meters, he said.
The mall must also secure the area as a safe location and comply with the requirements needed by the Comelec, especially in the processes needed during the conduct of elections in a school as a voting center.
According to him, the Comelec prefers an enclosed area as a voting center.
Mamalinta said that some voters expressed their approval in voting inside the mall.
“Ganahan sila sa mall kay bugnaw, others said it’s accessible, ug uban pod niingon nga ‘dali ra kaayo, di ta gutmon kay naa ra diha-diha dayon ang mga palitunon sa sulod sa mall,'” he said
(They like the mall because it is cool, others said it’s accessible, and still others said that it is accessible and they will not be hungry right away there because there are food to be bought inside the mall.)
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