No. of :

No. of Shares:

Currently viewed by: Marcus Rosit

NegOr COMELEC still waiting guidelines for areas under their control

Atty. Felicismo Catacutan Jr., election officer of Tanjay City COMELEC, discussing the directives for candidates and voters for 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections during the Kapihan sa PIA Forum held on Oct. 12, 2023 in Dumaguete City. (KAT/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental, October 12 (PIA) -- The Commission on Elections (COMELE) in Negros Oriental is still waiting for the specific measures to be implemented in the province following its placement under COMELEC control as announced by its chairman.

Tanjay City Election Officer Atty. Felicisimo Catacutan Jr. hopes that the officials in their central office would release the guidelines for areas under COMELEC control soon, since there are only 18 days left before the conduct of the simultaneous Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) in the province.

“With regards to the guidelines, we are still waiting for it to be released by the COMELEC en banc and we hope to have that tomorrow or next week,” Catacutan said, who represented Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Eliseo Labaria in the forum.

COMELEC Chairman Atty. George Erwin Garcia announced in September that province has been put under COMELEC control to ensure a peaceful conduct of BSKE in the province. 

The decision was made by the COMELEC en banc, in view of the recent political turmoil in Negros Oriental. 

It was in March this year when the late governor Roel Degamo was killed inside his residence in Pamplona town, which led to a series of law enforcement operations and the arrest of several suspects linked to the incident.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) tagged former Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnulfo Teves Jr. as the mastermind behind the killing.

Teves has been out of the country since February this year. 

Even though the COMELEC en banc has not yet issued the specific guidelines for areas under COMELEC control, Catacutan assured that the agency, along with its partners, are ready for the conduct of BSKE on October 30.

Catacutan said there are already enough number of teachers who will serve during the elections, and schools were also advised to have a generator set on standby in case of power service interruptions.

Teachers were also told to bring flashlights and power banks for emergency charging of their cellphones, which can be also be utilized as alternative flashlights. 

Election Day proceedings

Catacutan said casting of votes will be from 7:00 a.m. up to 3:00 p.m. in designated polling centers across the province.

This election will be done manually and voters should write the names of their chosen candidates for electoral positions in the barangay level in their ballots.

The election officer said those who belong to the 15 to 30 years old age group are eligible to vote for both SK council and the regular barangay council.

Those within the 15 years old to 17 years old age bracket will be given one ballot for the SK, while those who belong to the 18 to 30 years old age bracket will be given two ballots, one for the SK while the other one is for the regular barangay officials.

One the other hand, those who belong to 31 years and old above age bracket will be given one ballot intended for the regular barangay council.

“Another important thing to remember with our ballots, our ballots now has two colors. Ang text ani, ang gisulat (the difference is in the text color). We have the red one for the SK. We have the black one for the regular voters. Importante kay ni kay basin unya masayop ang ilang gisulat (This is important because they might write on the wrong ballot),” Catacutan said.

Like in the previous elections, senior citizens, PWDs, heavily pregnant women, and members of indigenous peoples groups will be given priority in their respective polling precincts and centers.

Catacutan urged the public to cast their votes on October 30 and exercise their right to suffrage. (RAL/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

About the Author

Roi Anthoni Lomotan


Region 7

Roi Anthoni Lomotan is an Information Officer at Philippine Information Agency (PIA) - 7. He is currently based in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. His job at PIA includes covering general beat assignments and other important events in the province.

Feedback / Comment

Get in touch