MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is hoping that the Senate and President Rodrigo Duterte would give their definite answers on the fate of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls.
Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista noted that direct responses from them would establish on whether or not to push through with the October 23 polls.
“There is no clear direction from the Senate yet. And, of course, we also have to know whatever is the sentiment of the President regarding this matter,” he said in an interview.
Bautista added that having a direction would be good for them since they already know where they are heading.
“We really hope they can have a decision already. Or at least tell us the direction they will be taking, even if it is not yet official,” he explained.
At the same time, the poll body chief cited the recent statement of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that the Lower House is for the postponement of the forthcoming elections.
“It’s good that the House already appears to have a clearer direction,” said the poll chief.
On the other hand, the Senators have indicated that it is divided over the proposal to postpone the October polls.
With this, Bautista said they will just continue with their preparations for the scheduled electoral exercises, assuring that they will not spend as much as possible.
“We can just continue with our preparations, such as conducting biddings but withholding the awarding of the contract. We can also start printing the ballots but we don’t want it to go to waste if the elections will eventually be postponed,” he added.
The poll body chief said they have until the first week of August before they can full blast with their preparations, including ballot printing.
There are pending bills in the Senate and at the House of Representatives that aims at postponing the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to October 2018 and to May 2020, respectively. Ferdinand Patinio/PNA-northboundasia.com