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COMELEC-CAR prepares for 2023 BSKE

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet (PIA) -- The Commission on Elections - Cordillera continues to  prepare for the October 30, 2023 synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE).

COMELEC-CAR Regional Director Julius Torres said they had been preparing for the BSKE since last year, as this was originally moved to  December  5, 2022.

"Currently, ballot boxes are being deployed in the different provinces to replace those which are already unserviceable or those that cannot be used," Torres said.

COMELEC-CAR Regional Director Julius Torres shares their calendar of activities for the 2023 BSKE, during the Cordillera PNP flag raising ceremony at the PRO-Cor Multi-Purpose Center in Camp Major Bado Dangwa, La Trinidad on 17 July 2023.

Torres said within the next few weeks, they will reactivate the Regional Joint Security Control Center.

This will signal the formal and official start of the partnership of the COMELEC, the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and all other election stakeholders.

Torres mentioned that COMELEC still needs to compete the printing of official ballots which will be used for the manual elections. At present, the COMELEC field offices are printing the Election Day Computerized Voters Lists as well as the Posted Computerized Voters Lists. The poll body earlier said that the updated lists of registered voters will be released not later than August 1.

After the filing of candidacy from August 28 to September 2, 2023, Torres said they will start to constitute the members of the electoral boards. "They will undergo trainings before manning the designated polling precincts," he added.

Under COMELEC Resolution No. 10905, the period to constitute the members of the Electoral Board and Barangay Board of Canvassers is from August 1 to September 9, 2023.

Based on the calendar of activities of the COMELEC pursuant to Resolution No. 10905, the election period and gun ban is set from August 28 to November 29, 2023. The filing of certificate of candidacy is from August 28 to September 2; campaigning is prohibited from September 3 to October 18; campaign period is from October 19-28; campaigning is prohibited and liquor ban enforcement is from October 29-30; and election day is on October 30 with voting hours from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The last day to file statements of contributions and expenditures is on November 29, 2023.

It can be recalled that the last BSKE was  held on May 14, 2018. The next election was set May 2020 but was moved to December 2022  pursuant to Republic Act 11462  signed by then President Rodrigo Duterte.

Last year, Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr signed RA 11935 postponing the Dec. 2022 BSKE to October 30, 2023. With the postponement, the incumbent barangay and SK officials  are now on their fifth year in office  from the supposed three-year term, while shortening the term of those to be elected in October this year to only two years.  

The court declared as unconstitutional the law postponing the December 5, 2022 BSKE. However, it ruled that the October 30, 2023 BSKE shall push through pursuant to the operative fact doctrine. (JDP/DEG-PIA CAR)

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Jamie Joie Malingan

Regional Editor


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