President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with key government officials prior to his “Talk to the People” at the Malacañan Palace on February 21, 2022. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Feb 22 (Mabuhay) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is on track in terms of its preparations for the unprecedented conduct of the May 9 elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said Monday.

Jimenez said that the printing of ballots, as well as road shows of Vote Counting Machines (VCMs), are going smoothly.

“We are on track of printing ballots. As a matter of fact, 17 million ballots have been printed already, and it is still early. The printing is going well, and we are about to reach peak printing capacity,” Jimenez said during the Laging Handa briefing.

“Once we reach that peak, we can print one million ballots in a day. It’s going very smoothly,” Jimenez added.

Likewise, Jimenez said that the poll body is already delivering election supplies and paraphernalia in various places, and that road shows of VCMs in communities are also ongoing to show the voters how to use the unit come election day.

“The public is able to see how the machine looks and how to use it, and we expect these road show demos of VCMs to gradually increase,” Jimenez added.

The Comelec, which should be composed of nine Commissioners including its Chair, only has six Commissioners at the moment due to the retirement of their three colleagues last February 2.

These three who retired include:  former Chair Sheriff Abas as well as former Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Antonio Kho, Jr.

President Rodrigo Duterte is yet to name the replacements for those three who recently retired. (MNS)

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