AROUND one million ballots to be used for the automated elections in May were transferred Wednesday from the National Printing Office (NPO) to the storage area of the ballot boxes.

A majority of the election ballots will be stored at Foreign Surface Mail Distribution Center (FSMDC) at the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) at the Pier area in Intramuros, Manila.

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Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said 1,528 packs of ballots were transferred Wednesday morning.

He added that the transfer was done since there is not enough space at the NPO facility in Quezon City.

“We're storing a majority of the ballots here at the Foreign Services PhilPost. It's the same place where we are going to store the official ballot boxes,” said Larrazabal.

Ballots to be used in Leyte province were the first to be transferred since it were the "most logical province to take out."

Ballots for Romblon and Quezon might be the next to be transferred, according to Comelec.

However, some political parties complained that they either were not informed or the notice was sent rather late.

Liberal Party, according to a television report, blocked the transportation, saying they did not have knowledge over the transfer.

But the Comelec official stressed that the parties were notified of the transfer.

Larrazabal said Bro. Eddie Villanueva's Bangon Pilipinas Movement party was at the NPO facility when the packing of ballots to the trucks were done.

He again said that the poll body welcomes watchers from the different parties to personally witness activities related to the upcoming elections.

“If they want to send watchers and lawyers during Holy Week or in the weekend, it's okay, just inform us how many watchers they want to send.”

Comelec decided to ship the ballots to the PhilPost office in broad daylight to allow observers to see the process of transfer.

Larrazabal, however, assured that a proper inventory of the containers where the ballots are will be implemented by the commission.

“There is a system that allows us to do a proper inventory of all the containers meaning to say when you ship out, when taken out of NPO pagdating sa PhilPost there is also an inventory taken,” he said.

The NPO will continue to print ballots on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)