The Commission on Elections on Thursday said it will resume the registration for new and qualified voters in the first week of November this year for the village and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, which was moved to May 2018.
The Comelec said President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a measure postponing the barangay and SK elections originally scheduled on Oct. 23.
Under Republic Act 10952 signed on Oct. 2, the President moved the barangay and SK polls to the second Monday of May 2018.
“Subsequent synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections shall be held on the second Monday of May 2018 and every three years thereafter,” the new law reads.
The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting also expressed relief for the postponement of the village elections, saying the government can focus more on other important matters to serve the people well.
PPCRV chairman Rene Sarmiento said the postponement was a prudent decision, allowing all stakeholders to focus on other pressing matters.
“It is good the President finally signed the law to postpone the barangay elections,” Sarmiento said.
“Time, effort, and expense can be channeled to other constructive nation-building concerns,” he added.
The poll body said it can formally begin the preparations for the 2018 elections, which is seven months away, now that the bill on the postponement of the October 2017 elections has been signed into law.
The Comelec estimates there would be at least one million more voters in the 2018 barangay and SK polls than in the 2016 national elections.
The poll body has yet to issue a resolution for the exact date of the opening of registration for new and qualified voters.
The Comelec welcomed the move despite already spending more than P600 million for the printing of the ballots and other activities in preparation for Oct. 23.
Sarmiento said it’s a sigh of relief for the PPCRV and other election volunteers because they have long suffered from the uncertainty surrounding the fate of the polls.
“The uncertainty among incumbent barangay officials, among possible candidates, among NGO electoral groups, and even within PPCRV will be put to a stop,” he said.