Only 19 of 128 Baguio barangays submit funds for polls

PAYMENTS for Board of Election Teller’s expenses may be stalled as only a handful of barangays submitted the required funds for the conduct of barangay polls on October 28.

Commission on Elections Baguio Election Officer-in-Charge Anita Navalta reported some 19 out of 128 barangays in the city were able to turnover checks to fund this year's village polls Friday, a day before the deadline set by their office.

Navalta said barangays are required to shell out P5,000 per clustered precinct to help augment the expenses of conducting the barangay polls.

She said a barangays in the city have irregular number of clustered precincts with some barangays like Barangay Session Road with one clustered precinct to as many as several clustered precincts like in Irisan.

While the Comelec resolution sets the deadline of October 18 for all barangays to submit the needed allocations, the election officer said they have to set in advance the deadline in the city as they have to prepare the budget for the teachers who will be serving in the polls.

u201cBarangay share in the elections is important as it will cover the transportation allowance, additional honorarium and expenses for trainings and meetings of Board of Election tellers,” she said.

Barangays which fail to allocate and submit the budget will be charged by the Comelec Central Office, she said.

She said most barangays which submitted their share to Comelec are smaller barangays while those that have not submitted are barangays with numerous clustered precincts.

Comelec Baguio-Benguet election supervisor Elenita Tabangin-Capuyan said there is a high probability that barangays have already used their funds until the end of the current official’s terms and have not anticipated their share in the forthcoming elections.

An earlier resolution issued by Comelec also called for the funds to be sourced from the Sanguniang Kabataan funds but this was later on relegated to barangays after President Benigno Aquino III signed the law postponing the SK elections.

Meanwhile, on the first day of the filing of Certificate of Candidacy for the barangay polls, more than 300 barangay position hopefuls braved the forthcoming rains brought by Typhoon Santi as they trooped the Comelec-Baguio office as early as 6 a.m.

The Comelec election officer said they are expecting more than 1,200 candidates to file their COCs until the last day of filing on October 17. Campaign period then starts the following day on October 18.

She said they anticipated the high turnout of those fling their COCs as there are also many positions that will be left vacant by barangay officials this month.

Data from the Department of the Interior and Local Government –Baguio showed 145 barangay officials are no longer eligible to run for the same positions after serving their third terms. This includes 25 Punong Barangays and 120 Sanguniang Barangay members.

However, several applicants complained of the lack of system in accommodating them into the field office but Comelec officials said they can only allow 300 applicants per day. Rains and strong winds brought by the typhoon also resulted to some of the applicants being dissuaded in filing their COCs over the weekend.

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