MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday began printing ballots for the May midterm polls, a month behind the initial schedule it had set.
Last year, the Comelec said ballot printing would start by the first month of 2019, but moved production dates as the final list of candidates was determined only on January 31.
The poll body hopes to print all 60 million ballots by April 25, about 2 weeks before election day, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told reporters.
The printing of 3 million ballots for overseas Filipino voters will be prioritized and is expected to be completed in 3 days, he said.
Printing machines can produce up to 1 million ballots per day if it operates non-stop for 24 hours, said Maria Victoria Dolsero, head of Comelec's printing committee.
A viewing area was organized to ensure transparency in the ballot printing process, Jimenez said.
"Lahat puwede [sa viewing area] kung ang public naman on a schedule basis para makita nila ang ginagawang pag-imprenta ng mga balota," he said.
(Everyone is allowed [in the viewing area] on a schedule basis so they could see the printing of ballots.)
The midterm elections will take place on May 13, 2019.
- with a report from Abner Mercado, ABS-CBN News