As usual, low turnout met the first two days of the resumption of the registration of voters for the synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in May next year.
Just like in the towns, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Tagbilaran City noted low turnout on the resumption of the registration of voters.
Tagbilaran City Election Officer Ariel Selma said they expected it and that, as usual, that the bulk of those who want to register may again rush on the last day of registration on November 30.
Provincial Election Supervisor Elesio Labaria earlier said they are only given until January next year to finalize the voters’ list.
On this, Comelec will have to run the registration of voters until November 30 to give time to finalize the list and undertake other activities related to the preparation for the May 14 elections next year.
Comelec is now concentrating on the registration of new voters, and those who need to update their records such as regarding corrections of entry and reactivation of their data.
Comelec offices nationwide will be open from Monday to Saturday- -including holidays- -from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the registration of voters.
Qualified to register for SK are those 15-17 years old and have been residing in the barangay where they want to vote or run for not less than six months before the elections on Mayo 14, 2018.
For the barangay election, qualified to register are those aged 18 and above before Mayo 14, 2018 and have been residing for not less than six months in the place in the Philippines where they intend to vote.
Labaria attributed the low turnout on the first few days of the voters’ registration to the usual Filipino attitude to rush on the last day as there had been adequate prior information campaign before they resumed the registration of voters on November 6.
Comelec had coordinated with the barangays for the dissemination of information, calling those qualified to register so they could vote or run in the barangay and SK elections in May next year.
Comelec issued Resolution 10214 on October 24, setting the continuation of the voters’ registration after the barangay and SK elections had been moved to May 18 next year.
The previous data ta at Comelec-Bohol shows that there are 47,590 aged 15-17 who registered for SK and 13,361 aged 18 and above who registered as regular voters, while there are 2,884 who had their registration reactivated in the registration of voters conducted after the May elections supposedly in preparation for the October elections.
Since President Rodrigo Duterte postponed the barangay and SK elections supposedly set last October 23, Comelec stopped their calendar of activities such as the preparation of precincts and printing of ballots.
The registration of voters just resumed on Monday as Comelec-national had already finalized the schedules of preparatory activities for the May 2018 Barangay and SK elections.
Duterte signed Republic Act 10952 on October 2 and released its copies to the media two days after for information dissemination.
RA 10952 states that “until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified, all incumbent barangay officials shall remain in office, unless sooner removed or suspended for cause.”
The barangay and SK barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan registration and elections in May 2018 had been allocated P6.09 billion as “continuing appropriations”.
Prohibited for undertaking 10 days prior to the barangay and SK elections are “the construction or maintenance of barangay-funded roads and bridges”; and “the appointment or hiring of new employees, creation of new position, promotion, or giving of salary increases, remuneration or privileges in the barangay”.