By KIMBERLIE OLMAYA NGABIT QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Just two days before the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on Monday, October 25, election paraphernalia such as the official ballots and indelible ink have not yet arrived in the Cordillera, Cagayan and Ilocos regions.
The Commission of Election (Comelec)-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Regional Director Atty. Julius Torres on Saturday morning confirmed that they are still waiting for the official ballots and election paraphernalia. He said that based on the deployment plan of the Comelec national office, the paraphernalia should have arrived yesterday.
“We do not know exactly what is causing the delay. But we are in close coordination with the national office and the paraphernalia are expected tonight,” Torres explained.
Torres is looking at the delay in the delivery of election paraphernalia to pose a problem given the limited time left to distribute these to the polling centers especially in some areas hard hit by typhoon Juan.
“We are all set for the barangay elections. We are just waiting for the election paraphernalia,” Torres iterated.
Despite the delays, Torres assured the public that they will work overtime to deliver the necessary paraphernalia to all the polling areas in the region. “The plan is to start delivering the paraphernalia as soon as they arrive,” he added.
In a separate interview, Comelec Ilocos Regional Director Atty. Noli R. Pipo was positive that the election paraphernalia for the region will arrive tonight, October 23. He said all election officers have been tasked to develop a plan for the speedy and methodical delivery of the paraphernalia.
“Our delivery of paraphernalia here in the Ilocos region is relatively easier compared to the other regions in Northern Luzon because we only have a few mountainous areas,” he added.
Pipo added that the delay begun at the bidding process for the printing of official ballots.
Comelec Cagayan Valley Regional Director Atty. Ederlino U. Tabilas said if the election materials would reach them tomorrow morning. “We are 15 hours away from Manila by bus, and the national office will be sending the materials this afternoon. It is most probable that we will receive them tomorrow morning at the earliest.
Tabilas disclosed that they are not sure if they will be able to distribute all materials tomorrow but he assured the public that they will do their best. # nordis.net