Around 78,000 clustered precincts are now being reshuffled in preparation for the October 28 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Saturday.
Based on Comelec Resolution No. 9718, there is a need to re-cluster the precincts because of insufficient public school teachers that shall serve as Board of Election Tellers (BETs), shortage of public schools that will be used as voting centers and other logistical and security considerations.
The poll body ordered all election officers (EOs) to submit copies of the Final Project of Precincts (POPs) for the upcoming October 28 elections to the Election and Barangay Affairs Department (EBAD) on or before August 19.
Under the EO, only established precincts of the same barangay which have the same voting center shall be clustered or grouped, and “daughter precincts” shall, as far as practicable, be clustered or grouped with their “mother precincts.”
The poll body pointed out that the clustered precincts include a Sangguniang kabataan (SK) precinct which shall have a maximum of four established precincts. Each precinct shall not exceed 500 registered voters.
However, clustered precincts that are without an SK precinct shall have a maximum of three established precincts and that the total number of registered voters in each shall not exceed 400.
The Comelec will stop accepting requests for the transfer of voting centers on July 15 because the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) provides that no polling place can be relocated 45 days before a regular election. The only exception is if a voting center was “destroyed, dilapidated, or can no longer be used”.
During the May 13 polls, there were 344,529 established precincts nationwide that were clustered into 77,829 clustered precincts located in 36,772 voting centers.
Johanna M. Sampan