House OK on Barangay, SK polls deferment ‘no surprise,’ says Comelec
Robie de Guzman • November 4, 2019 • 621
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said it is not surprised by the move of the House of Representatives to approve the bill seeking to defer the 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to December 5, 2022.
“This does not come as a surprise,” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a message to reporters. “The COMELEC had, in fact, slowed down preparations for the Barangay Elections of 2020 in anticipation of this legislation.”
Jimenez said that with the impending approval of Congress on the measure, the poll body is now looking to focus on preparing for the next national and local elections.
“With the approval of the House and the looming decision of the Senate on the same matter, the COMELEC is looking forward to focusing on the process of re-starting the continuing registration and, in the longer term, preparing for the 2022 National and Local Elections,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the Lower House gave its nod to a proposal seeking to reschedule the local polls to allow more time for incumbent Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials to implement and complete their respective projects.
After the 2022 elections, subsequent barangay and SK elections will be held on the first Monday of December 2025 and every three years thereafter.
The amended version of the House bill is similar to the one that Senate passed on September 30.
President Rodrigo Duterte, during his fourth State of the Nation Address in July, called on Congress to postpone the village elections.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced on Thursday (October 22) that it will revert to weekday schedule for voter registration beginning November 9.
When Comelec resumed voter registration last September 1, it was scheduled to be conducted from Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said reverting to the weekday schedule will provide the agency time to disinfect offices on Saturdays.
“The Commission on Elections deems it necessary to revert to the weekday schedule to make way for Saturday disinfection days in all Offices of the Election Officer nationwide,” he said.
However, the Comelec official clarified that voter registration in areas under localized Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) will remain suspended.
Comelec also reminded the public that minimum health safety protocols will also be implemented during the registration to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Wearing of face mask and face shield is mandatory, the number of people to be allowed inside the COMELEC office will be limited to ensure compliance with physical distancing requirements, and applicants are encouraged to bring their own pens,” Jimenez said. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines – Former Commission on Elections (COMELEC) chairman Jose Melo has passed away, the poll body’s spokesperson announced.
In a message posted on Twitter, Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said Melo died on Sunday night. He was 88 years old.
“Sad news tonight. Just received word that Chairman Jose A.R. Melo, former SC Justice, and the COMELEC Chairman who oversaw the country’s transition to full automation from 2008 to 2010, has passed away. He was 88 years old,” Jimenez said.
He, however, did not disclose the cause of Melo’s death .
Prior to leading the poll body, Melo served as Supreme Court Associate Justice for nearly 10 years.
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