MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in a resolution laid down the procedures for the delivery and transmittal of the printed copies of election returns in connection with the May 10, 2010 national and local elections.

Comelec Resolution No. 8803 promulgated March 16 said the board of election inspectors (BEIs) shall deliver to the election officer the envelopes containing the printed copies of the election returns intended for the Comelec, Congress (directed to the president of the Senate) and the provincial board of canvassers (PBOC).

The election officer shall, in turn, segregate the envelopes and deposit them in ballot boxes, the Comelec said.

“Thereafter, the election officer shall lock each ballot box with three padlocks, and deliver the ballot boxes and their keys to the body or offices concerned with sufficient security escort from either the PNP (Philippine National Police) or AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and watchers of political parties, candidates, and accredited citizens' arm.”

In the Metro Manila area, the Comelec ruled, all the ballot boxes from the election officers shall be delivered to the regional election director of the National Capital Region (NCR). The NCR regional election director shall then transmit the ballot boxes, with their keys, to Congress and to Comelec.

Meanwhile, the ballot boxes, with their keys, intended for the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) shall be kept in the custody of the NCR regional election director.

In areas outside Metro Manila, the ballot boxes shall be delivered by the election assistant in the office of the election officer concerned to the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor (OPES), "using the fastest means available, not later than 12 noon on May 11.

The most senior and able election assistant in the OPES shall receive the copies and issue the proper receipt therefore, the Comelec furthered.

For purposes of transmitting the copies of election returns intended for Congress and the Comelec, the resolution said, the provincial election supervisor shall designate a senior and able election assistant to transmit the same to the Office of the Senate President and to the Comelec, within twelve hours from the first delivery, using the fastest means of the transportation.

“In all instances, the provincial election supervisor shall see to it that the above procedure of delivering copies of the election returns at intervals of twelve hours or shorter when possible is faithfully complied with to the end that all the copies of the election returns for Congress and the commission are delivered not later than May 13, 2010. In every case, delivery shall be undertaken with sufficient security escort and watchers of candidates, parties, organizations or coalition thereof,” added the resolution. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)