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Comelec denies P15-M payment claim made by poll debate contractor.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has rejected Impact Hub’s payment claims for PHP15.3 million, which were made on behalf of the organization’s former partner in the “Pilipinas Debate 2022” event.

“Upon examination, Impact Hub’s demand for payment does not include the supporting documentation required to prove the claim’s authenticity. In this regard, the Commission is compelled to reject Impact Hub’s request for PHP15,300,000.00, according to Teopisto Elnas, executive director of the polling organization, in a letter dated May 19 that was made public on Tuesday.

He mentioned that to settle claims for goods and services purchased by government entities; they must abide by the COA’s guidelines.

For all forms of disbursement of public funds, COA Circular No. 2012-0013 stipulates that “sufficient and relevant documents to establish the validity of a claim” must be submitted.

Claims for payment that do not adhere to the relevant accounting, auditing, and procurement rules would not be handled, he said.

The Comelec official continued, “In the absence of such payment, such payment may be subject to disallowance by the Commission on Audit, together with its concomitant consequences, namely, criminal, civil, and administrative liabilities.”

Impact Hub sent the polling organization a “Notice of Demand to Pay” in April asking for PHP15.3 million in payment for holding the “Pilipinas Debates 2022”.

The company will have to “avail of the legal remedies under the law to recover the debt and to protect the company’s interests” if the commission does not agree to a settlement, it was stated.

Both parties agreed to organize five debates for the presidential and vice presidential candidates before the May 2022 elections.

However, only three discussions were held because the poll organization opted to postpone the previous two events.

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