Comelec starts transferring ballots from NPO to Philpost warehouse

March 31, 2010 11:04 pm 

MANILA, March 31 — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started moving packs of ballots from the National Printing Office (NPO) in Quezon City to the warehouse of the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) in Port Area, Manila.

Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said they have transferred initially 1,528 packs of ballots, each pack containing different number of ballots, depending on the number of voters for a particular area.

The ballots from Leyte, Romblon and Quezon were the first ones to be transported, noting that they were easy to pick out.

He assured that the transfer of the ballots is all accounted for since they have an inventory of the ballots both at the NPO and Philpost.

“We did not transport the previous provinces printed because these were already inside at the back…the most logical province to take out from the said provinces,” Larrazabal explained.

He explained that they have to transfer the ballots because the Philpost facility has a huge space. The ballots boxes are likewise stored there.

Larrazabal noted that majority of the ballots will be transferred there. A total of 50,723,734 ballots will be printed for the May 10 national and local polls. Originally, the transfer would have been done last Tuesday but the commission decided to defer it.

“The decision to transport the ballots today was made by the commission because on Tuesday the packing and the putting into the container vans was done in the afternoon.

"So, as a matter of prudence, we decided to do the transportation at lunchtime so that when they unload, it is still daylight,” the Comelec official said.

On the other hand, Larrazabal advised those who want to visit the Philpost warehouse to just inform them, and they would likely assist them.

“There’s a protocol that has to be followed when ballots are transported from the NPO to Philpost area. This was already explained to them. If they want to send watchers and lawyers to the Philpost warehouse over the weekend during Holy Week, it’s okay. Just inform us how many watchers they want to send,” he said. (PNA)

DCT/FGP/utb

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