Comelec saves P640 million after it cancels bid for ballot boxes

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is expected to save P640 million after it decided to cancel the public bidding for the ballot boxes to be used in the forthcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

Comelec Chairman Andres D. Baustista told reporters the poll body determined during accounting that the existing ballot boxes are sufficient to cover the Comelec’s requirement.

“We were able to determine we have enough ballot boxes,  so we canceled the bidding for them,” Bautista told reporters.

The Comelec earlier opened the public bidding for the supply of 233,500 ballot boxes with an approved budget for the contract of P642,125,000.

But the required number of ballot boxes was later reduced to only 75,253  with an approved budget of P206,945,750.

Bautista also urged Congress to immediately decide whether to push through or postpone the Barangay and SK elections before the start of the printing of ballots on August 21.

“We have to decide by August 21 if we will push through with the Barangay and SK elections. Or, if ever Congress decides to postpone it, they have to do it before August 21,” Bautista said.

Bautista earlier brought up the possibility of postponing the Barangay and SK polls, citing election fatigue because of its proximity to the recently concluded national and local elections in May.

The idea elicited support from several lawmakers who suggested holding it simultaneously with the election of delegates to the planned Constitutional Convention sometime in early 2017. However, President Duterte rejected the proposal.

 

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