By Jillian Marielle Tiraña

Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chair George Garcia assures the public on the conduction of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and Barangay elections this year.

Photo Courtesy of Philippine Star/Sangguniang Kabataan (Facebook)

In an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source on August 4, Garcia stated that preparations for the upcoming SK and Barangay elections have already started.

“We are in full swing for our preparation,” he revealed. According to Garcia, a training briefing is ongoing for COMELEC’s top officials.

The COMELEC official added that the procurement of election paraphernalia is also underway. He assured citizens that they guarantee to spend the allocated budget wisely and all purchases will not be wasted.

"‘Wag po kayong mag-alala. Hanggang sa kasalukuyan, yung 8.5 billion pesos na nakalaan para sa SK and barangay elections [is] intact. May nabawasan man, kapirasong kapiraso lang po,” he stressed.

Garcia also talked about the reasons why holding the SK and Barangay elections might be out of bounds in the future.

He explained that aside from the long ballots, conducting elections simultaneously may cause confusion for voters as results in the automated polls during local and national elections are transmitted immediately, while SK and barangay elections hold it manually.

Garcia also mentioned that holding both elections in the same year with different dates is possible.

The SK and Barangay elections are set to be held on December 5 this year instead of May 2020 due to Republic Act No. 11462 signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte.