MANILA – After determining that the Certificates of Canvass (COCs) from areas that will be…
Senators claim there is money for a new Comelec building.
Two senators asked for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) proposed 2023 budget to be increased to account for costs associated with developing the organization’s own facility.
Under the 2023 National Expenditure Program, PHP 500 million was granted for Comelec, while the House of Representatives added another PHP 500 million for the planned structure.
During the third day of the marathon plenary session on the 2023 national budget, Senator Imee Marcos, who sponsored and defended the PHP6.48 billion Comelec budget, said the election authority requested PHP1.5 billion.
Senator Grace Poe said that the election body should have its own building, just like other governmental organizations.
Poe stated during the budget discussions, “I think it’s legitimate for us to presume that actually, every significant government institution should have a proper facility. Comelec should have a proper venue to store whatever election records they have, to be able to operate quickly and comfortably.
Therefore, Poe continued, “I suppose with a new facility, presumably, it will be state-of-the-art, at least in terms of the safety requirements.”
The Palacio del Gobernador building in Manila’s Intramuros, which houses its central office, is one of the structures that the Comelec rents out, as are a number of its floors.
Chair George Garcia wants to move through with erecting the poll body’s own headquarters in Pasay City, which he claimed is a need rather than a luxury, in part because the Intramuros office caught fire on July 31.
Because Comelec still has PHP981 million available, Poe suggested that an additional PHP500 million for the election body may come from savings. Marcos agreed.
In order to exploit such savings, particularly for the building, Marcos explained that they would need to meet with the state at the end of the year.
The absence of Comelec’s own institutions, according to Marcos, is a problem not only at the national level but also in the field offices and regional offices.
The polling organization also requests financing for the complete deployment of the Register Anywhere initiative as well as the ongoing development and management of its own election hardware and software systems.
Cebuano English Filipino
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