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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has tentatively set the date of the registration for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections from July 1 to 31, a poll official said Tuesday.

Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said that under the law, registration should be conducted 120 days before the elections. In this case, registration should be conducted beginning June 25 because the 2010 SK and Barangay elections have been scheduled on October 25.

But Sarmiento said they moved the registration to July because June 25 is "too soon." "Wala ng time for registration (We might not have enough time for registration)," he told reporters in an interiew. He added that under Republic Act 7166, they can adjust the registration schedule "if necessary."

Sarmiento said those turning 15 and 18 years old should register for the SK and Barangay elections. But he said those who are over 18 and have already registered do not need to register again. He added that they are encouraging those who do not have biometrics to go to local Comelec officers and have their biometrics captured.

On the other hand, Sarmiento said they still have yet to decide whether to automate the October polls. "Yan ang pag uusapan (That's what we'll talk about) But the sentiment is it should be automation. It think that is the trend and the public is expecting that it be automated," he said.

He noted, however, that they have yet to talk with poll machine supplier Smartmatic about engaging in another contract for the SK and Barangay polls. The Philippines paid P7.2 billion to Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) to automate the May 2010 elections.

In a separate interview, Smartmatic Asia president Cesar Flores said they welcome the idea of automating the October elections. He noted, however, that the poll body should set the filing of certificates of candidacy earlier because Smartmatic would need to print more ballot faces if ever.