by Eunese Irish A. Garcia
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Los Baños is all set with the preparations for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and Barangay Elections 2013 on October 28.
According to Elections Officer Randy Banzuela, COMELEC has already created the project of precincts that will handle the election period. With 56, 856 registered voters in Los Baños, COMELEC is also reviewing the voters’ list to determine the active and inactive voters and the ones who are really registered in the barangays.
“Kasi may mga nagrereklamo na nawawala ‘yung pangalan nila sa listahan sa mga designated precincts sa barangay nila, kaya ngayon pa lang inaayos na namin dito,” Banzuela added.
With the 56,856 registered voters to date; 54,984 of which voted during the the last elections; COMELEC expects an increase of voters’ turnout given the 3,099 newly registered voters.
Manual voting will be used during the elections since the P-COS (Precinct-Count Optical Scanners) machines will be kept again for the next national elections. The elections officer also explained that since there are only a small number of voters during SK and Barangay elections, it is more appropriate to use the manual voting.
“We are hoping for more improvements during the elections so that we may serve our residents better,” Banzuela explained. He also encouraged residents to volunteer and help out during the elections. “May pinadadala rin naman ang PPCRV at NAMFREL during those times, but their primary concern is the total number of votes,” he added.
Aling Imelda Banyares, 43, a fruit vendor from Brgy. Timugan, said that she and her daughter, who registered last month, are going to vote. “Kahit ganito lang sa ngayon ang buhay namin, gusto naming bumoto para may magbago at may ikaunlad sa lugar namin,” she said.
Age is not a matter of concern in exercising the right to vote as with the case of Mang Roger Maningas, 75, a canteen concessionaire in Brgy. Timugan. Mang Roger shared that all of members of his family are going to vote because they want their voices heard. “Sa awa naman ng Diyos, laging payapa ang lugar namin, kasi magaling naman ang mga nabobotong kapitan [ng barangay],” the old man replied.
Some residents however, will not be able to cast their votes this October. Aling Merlinda Limco, 43, a housewife will not be able to vote because she was reached by the cut-off last registration. “Kung pinaabot sana ako, makakaboto sana ako, gusto ko rin naming bumoto. Eh siyempre, sa ganoong paraan ko lang masasabi yung gusto kong sabihin,” she said.
Diane Pombo, 18, was also reached by the cut-off and was not also able to register. Pombo will however, volunteer during the elections. “Okay lang kahit di ako naabutan basta gusto ko makatulong ako sa eleksyon sa October. Sayang kasi pagkakataon para mapakita ko na residente talaga ako ng Los Baños,” Diane said. She also encouraged others to volunteer for their rcommunity. “Minsan lang naman ‘to, di ba?”