Comelec: Second extension for filing of COCs unlikely

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Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said candidates would be given a chance to explain why they should not be declared as a nuisance.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 23) — The Commission on Elections said Monday another extension in the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the baranggay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls is unlikely.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told CNN Philippines' News Night that this is due to the low turnout when the first deadline was extended from April 20 to April 21.

"The opportunity was given, the extension was given, but not a lot of people took advantage of it anyway, so I don't know that a second extension is in the works," Jimenez said.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier said it might ask the Comelec for another extension because it fears there are not enough candidates for SK posts.

Jimenez said while the number of candidates is still incomplete, a total of 418,906 bets filed their COC's for 338,584 SK posts. It was still unclear how many of those who filed their candidacy will be allowed to run.

The COMELEC spokesperson remained optimistic, noting that there are now over 1.1 million candidates for both barangay and SK positions.

"Even with the low turnout now, we're still seeing a good number of them stepping up to run for office," he added.

The DILG said one of the main reasons for the low turnout of aspirants was the inclusion of the anti-political dynasty rule, which prohibits candidates from seeking election if they have relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity who currently occupy an elective post.

READ: NYC: Confusion over anti-political dynasty law possible reason for low SK turnout

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said, however, if the SK posts remain vacant, local government units must ensure that the community has Local Youth Development Officers, as mandated by the SK Reform Act.

Malaya said they will request mayors to guarantee that LYDOs could attend to concerns and issues of the youth in their areas.

The filing of candidacies began April 14, which marked the start of the election period. The SK polls are scheduled on May 14.