DESPITE rumors that the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will again be postponed, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Davao City announced that it is already 85 percent prepared for the May polls.

Comelec Davao City election assistant Maysah Casar said the preparations of the district offices in the city are ongoing.

She said the printing of the poll forms are done and they are currently organizing voters' education.

The office also requested at least 1,500 additional ballot boxes from the national office, Casar said, adding the city only has 2,000 ballot boxes, which are not enough, considering the number of voters.

Comelec Davao City has also accounted 3,243 electoral board members in the first district; 2,589 electoral board members in second district; 2,367 in third district, while there are 182 Barangay Boards of Canvassers (BBOC) for the May election.

"We do not have the watchers' lists yet. The lists of watchers will come from the candidates of the barangay and SK election. Most probably, they will submit the lists after the filing of the candidacy next month," Casar said.

Comelec-Davao Assistant Director Marlon Casquejo earlier said there is no need for intervention of the Congress on whether to suspend the election in Mindanao since the extension of Martial Law could be the reason.

But considering the current security landscape, Casquejo said there is a big chance that this year's elections will push through.

He said the public hearing is yet to be scheduled to gather the consensus of various stakeholders.

In Comelec Resolution 10246, the filing of certificates of candidacy will be on April 14 to 20, while the campaign period is slated May 4 to 12.

During the nine-day campaign period, making any donation or gift in cash or in kind is prohibited, as well as appointing or using special policemen or confidential agents; construction or maintenance of barangay funded roads and bridges; appointment or hiring of new employees, creation of new position, promotion, giving of salary increases, remuneration or privileges, Comelec said.

Campaigning is prohibited on the eve of election day.

The election period will be from April 14 to May 21, during which the poll body prohibits the alteration of precincts or establishment of new precincts; carrying of firearms or other deadly weapons; use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates; transfer of officers and employees in the civil service; and suspension of any elective local officials, the resolution said.