BALLOT PRINTING FOR MAY POLLS ‘AT FULL CAPACITY’: COMELEC
MANILA — The printing of ballots to be used in the May 13, 2019 National and Local Elections (NLE) at the National Printing Office (NPO) is now averaging 1.1 million per day, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) reported Monday.
The total number of ballots to be printed is 63,662,481.
With this, the poll body noted that they have already completed the printing of 1.7 million overseas absentee voters’ ballots last February 16.
The voting for overseas voters will begin on April 13, a month ahead of election day in the country.
Aside from the OAV ballots, the poll body said ballots for other priority areas have also been completed, which include provinces formerly comprising the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Region 13 or the Caraga Administrative Region, and Region 12 or Soccsksargen.
“Printing of ballots for these areas will be followed by those for the Visayas provinces, Luzon provinces, and lastly the National Capital Region (NCR),” the Comelec said in a statement.
At present, the total number of ballots already printed stands at 11,346,352, or 17.82 percent of the total number of ballots to be printed.
There are 61,843,750 registered voters for the May 13 polls, but more than 1.1 million ballots will be printed for use in the Final Testing and Sealing (FTS) process, while the rest are demonstration ballots allotted for vote-counting machine (VCM) roadshow and demonstration purposes.
On the other hand, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said they are on track to hit their target of finishing the printing by April 25. Ballot printing started on February 9.
Meanwhile, the poll body will create the Comelec Controlled Committee (CCC), in case an area will be declared under its control.
“The CCC shall have the authority to create Special Task Force Team/s (Task Force) which will act as the implementing arm with regards to the decisions, order, and other issuances in relation to the enforcement of Comelec Control,” said the Comelec Resolution No. 10501 promulgated on February 21.
The CCC will be chaired and vice chaired by a Comelec Commissioner while its members will be composed of representatives from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Project Management Office for the elections.
On the other hand, the task force will be composed of representatives from Department of the Interior and Local Government; the Comelec Field Office/Office of Election Officer, Regional Director, Police Regional Office, PNP; either the Division or Brigade Commander with the highest rank designated by the AFP and Regional Election Director.
The poll body may place any political subdivision under its direct control and supervision if, among others, there is a history of, or current intense political rivalry among contending parties, and as such, rivalries could motivate people to engage in violent acts. (PNA)