NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Some 981,776 Boholanos will troop to their respective voting precincts to elect their barangay and youth leaders in Bohol’s 1,109 barangays.
Provincial Comelec Supervisor Edi Aba told the Chronicle yesterday the 3,069 clustered precincts will open at 7 o’clock tomorrow morning to accommodate the 981,776 voters for barangay officials and 365,319 for the Sangguniang Kabataan polls.
The precincts will close at three in the afternoon.
The twin election will be done manually and no machine will be used while the canvassing of the votes will take time as compared to the last presidential and local elections where everything was automated, the Comelec official said.
Voters will elect one barangay chairman and 7 barangay councilors to comprise the Sangguniang Barangay (SB).
Registered voters of 15 to 17 years old would be given one ballot for SK, while those aged 18 to 30 will get one ballot and one ballot to fill for Barangay candidates.
Registered voters over 31, on the other hand, will get only one ballot.
As the voters have to manually write their candidates, writing legibly would make it easier for the election canvassers to appreciate the votes. However, teacher canvassers are also tasked to decipher these to the best of their abilities to make each vote count, assured the Comelec.
As of the last information, local Comelec records show that there are 1,847 bets Punong Barangays and 1,444 SK chairman.
As to the barangay councils, 13,759 are gunning for the 7-seat posts in the barangay and 6,736 for 7-seat SK
There would be special lanes for senior citizens, persons with disabilities and overly pregnant women, Comelec said.
Meanwhile, Comelec Assistant Regional Director Veronico Petalcorin said during the “Kapihan sa PIA,” teachers who have been trained to facilitate the conduct of the elections are organized into Election Boards for each precinct, and supervised by the DepEd Supervising Official (DESO).
Complaints during the conduct of the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) have to be
raised to the electoral board, so these can be put on record, the election official said.
The Electoral Board would also escalate these complaints to the DESO, who would also report this to the
COMELEC, who would decide on the complaint for elevation to the courts, when found to be meritorious.
In the meantime, anything unusual, especially when they are election-related, would be acted upon by the members of the Philippine National Police assigned in the area, especially when these are criminal in nature.
An augmentation of police personnel and Civilian Armed Auxiliary Force have been assigned in election areas of concern, according to Petalcorin, as the local elections happen, on October 30.
UNDER COMELEC WATCH
The Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) identified 12 barangays as Election Watchlist Areas (EWAs) in tomorrow’s elections.
The classification of areas under the “watch list” is however subject to the assessment of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), but the parameters on the declaration of an election hotspot include an evaluation of election-related incidents in past elections, the heightened political rivalry, the presence or threat of the New People’s Army (NPA), and the availability or existence of private armed groups.
Out of 1,109 barangays here in the province only 12 are considered by the Bohol Police as areas of concern based on their intelligence monitoring since the month of April this year. Out of the 12 barangays, 3 have been placed under the “yellow” category while 9 are under the “orange” category.
Placed under the “yellow” category are Barangay Tugas, Candijay; Barangay Pangpang, Ubay; and Barangay Lubang, Buenavista.
On “orange” category are Barangay Bayungan, San Miguel; Barangay Sikatuna, Talibon; Barangay Dait Norte, Buenavista; Barangay Abijilan, San Isidro; Barangay Cantaongon, Loon; Barangay Tabuan, Antequera; Barangay Cantonimbo, Balilihan; and Barangay Lico-Lico, Sevilla.
So far, no barangay in the province has been placed under the “red” category as the other 1,097 barangays are under the “green” classification.
Localities placed under the “yellow” category are those where election-related incidents have occurred and there are intense political rivalries.
The “orange” category indicates the presence of armed groups in the area during the past three years while a “red” classification indicates the presence of all factors in the first two categories, including the threat of armed groups.
Places that have been relatively peaceful and have no threats to security and order are classified as “green”. (with reports from rahc/PIA7/Bohol)