E. Visayas heightens village poll preps

The Eastern Visayas Regional Joint Security Control Center (RJSCC) is stepping up its preparation for the upcoming 2023 synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE). Commission on Elections (Comelec) Eastern Visayas regional director Jose Nick Mendros, RJSCC chairperson, said that after their first meeting on Aug. 4, concerned agencies will meet regularly to assess the preparations of concerned agencies tasked to ensure peaceful and orderly village polls. Mendros told the Philippine News Agency on Monday that conducting the BSKE is a big task comparable to national and local elections with more voters, candidates, precincts and teachers who serve the elections. ‘It is our duty to make sure that people will feel a sense of security where they will not get intimidated or threatened. Let us engage the community to ensure that there will be no failure of elections,’ he said. With 4,365 villages in the region, voters will select 8,730 village chiefs and SK chairpersons, 61,110 village and youth council members. Philippine National Police (PNP) regional director Brig. Gen. Vincent Calanoga called for the mobilization of the community and asked support from the stakeholders and non-government organizations in this political event. ‘We will not stay complacent in our security preparations despite the success of the past elections. Our focus will not only center on internal security operations but will also include the anti-criminality campaign,’ he said. Other than Comelec and PNP, RJSCC is also composed of officials from the Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency. Meanwhile, local election officers in the region have been gathering BSKE candidates to guide them on the proper filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) and statements of contributions and expenditures. Based on Comelec 2023 BSKE calendar, the election period and implementation of the gun ban will be from Aug. 28 to Nov. 29. Filing of COCs will be from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2. On Election Day on Oct. 30, casting of votes will be from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Counting and canvassing of votes and proclamation of winning candidates will immediately proceed after the closing of polls, according to Comelec. The deadline for the filing of the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures is on Nov. 29. Beginning Sept. 3 until Oct. 18, campaigning is prohibited. The campaign period will run from Oct. 19 to 28. Campaigning is again unlawful from Oct. 29 to 30, as well as selling, buying or taking intoxicating liquor.

Source: Philippines News Agency