Tuesday August 14, 2018

All polling precincts, except in Marawi, now open

ALL the 177,575 polling precincts across the country have opened as of 2 p.m. Monday, May 14, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced in a press conference at the Comelec Command Center in Manila.

The polling precincts earlier reported closed in Bacolod-Kalawi, Binidayan, Masui and Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi have also opened.

Colonel Edgar Arevalo, AFP public affairs chief, said the AFP has yet to verify whether there were delays in the polling precincts' opening or only in the reporting due to the weak telecommunications signal in the said areas.

A total of 41,948, out of 42,044 barangays, are currently holding a regular election. The 96 barangays in Marawi City, which were devastated after a five-month armed conflict between the government and Islamic extremists in 2017, are excluded.

The commission has yet to deliberate in an en banc session if it will extend the voting in the polling areas that started late.

Pareño said the extension will be on a "case to case basis," depending on the reason for the delay.

The Comelec said after the voting closes at 3 p.m., counting will follow immediately.

The poll body expects the results of the voting early evening Monday.

Voters 18 years old and older will be electing 41,948 barangay chairmen and 293,636 barangay kagawad (councilors).

Voters in the 15 to 30 years old age group will choose the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officers.

There are a total of 57.378 million registered voters for the 2018 Barangay and SK elections, Comelec said.

Acting Comelec chair Al Pareño attributed the successful opening of all polling precincts to the close coordination of all concerned agencies, including among others the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), National Youth Commission (NYC) and the Department of Health (DOH). (SunStar Philippines)